The African swine fever outbreak is viewed as friendly to U.S. hog prices, but an ag economist is concerned soybean demand could be adversely affected.
Todd Hubbs with the University of Illinois says he’s hearing the herd loss in China could be more than 20 percent.
“That’s a lot of hogs moving out of China and possibly out of Vietnam and other countries. And while we have seen soybean purchases up a tick here in the last few weeks from China, I think it’s more related to trying to finalize a trade deal, not necessarily demand.”
If there’s a trade deal this year, he tells Brownfield Chinese soybean purchases will ratchet up.
“But as we move into 2020 we could see that weaken a bit, so it is worrisome. If we can send soybeans to China via hog carcasses, I’m fine with that. But I doubt we make up for what we would normally send in exports via crush and feeding out our hogs.”
Hubbs says the overall demand picture for U.S. soybeans still mostly hinges a trade deal with China.