Hog Virus Pushes China To Increase U.S. Pork Purchase Despite Trade War

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Reuters reports:

China’s purchases of U.S. pork climbed to the highest in at least six years last week, U.S. Department of Agriculture data showed on Thursday, as a fatal hog disease continued to spread in the Asian country. The sale of 77,732 tonnes of U.S pork in the week ended April 4 gives hope to U.S. hog farmers and meat companies such as WH Group Ltd’s Smithfield Foods that China’s demand will increase further. U.S. pork sales to China sank last year after Beijing imposed retaliatory duties of 62 percent on shipments in the two countries’ ongoing trade war.

The weekly sales were the biggest to China since the U.S. Department of Agriculture records began in 2013.

China has reported about 120 outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) since it was first detected in the country in August 2018. The disease kills almost all pigs infected, though it is not harmful to people. There is no vaccine or cure.

The precise number of hogs that have been killed by the disease or culled to prevent its spread is not known.

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