Rabobank says China’s pig herd, once the largest in the world, will take more than five years to recover from the African Swine Fever outbreak. Even then, Rabobank International says their meat consumption won’t be the same as it was before the disease outbreak.
The world’s biggest pork market won’t stabilize until 2025 and meat imports won’t make up for the shortfall. China’s once giant hog herd is more than half of what it was, down to less than 200 million since the first case of ASF was made public in August of 2018. A Rabobank analyst notes that China is rapidly trying to increase its domestic production, while importing more pork and other proteins like beef and chicken, in hopes of satisfying consumer demand.
The crisis will change the way China consumes protein. Rabobank says pork will remain the meat of choice in China, but its overall share of meat consumption will fall from 63 percent to 53 percent. Poultry’s share of Chinese meat consumption will increase by 30 percent by 2025.
Restocking and importing will take place through 2021 before hog output increases through 2025. However, Rabobank says even then, the total herd is unlikely to return to its peak size in 2018.