African swine fever is ravaging China’s pork supply and having a global impact on protein prices. For equity investors, the crisis serves as a reminder that even amid trade-war uncertainty, research into domestic trends can help investors access the country’s vast stock market.
China is a pork-loving nation that produces and consumes about half the world’s pig meat. That’s why the outbreak of African swine fever is so dramatic. It’s a deadly virus with no known vaccine or treatment, so Chinese farmers have been forced to conduct massive culls of hog herds. By the end of the year, China’s pork output may be reduced by as much as 30%, according to some analysts. At a time when Beyond Meat’s IPO in the US is drawing attention to potential substitutes for animal proteins, China’s crisis is threatening to change the supply and demand dynamics of meat markets around the world.
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