China may increase US pork imports to a record high this year as part of a commitment to bolster purchases of American farm goods in a final trade deal, said Bloomberg.
Imports may rise to as high as 300,000 metric tons of pork in 2019, 81% more than the 166,000 tons in 2017. A Bloomberg source said that China may order 200,000 tons of pork in the first half of the year alone.
The final volume will depend on the impact of an outbreak of African swine fever in China, a disease that is fatal to pigs and is proving hard to contain. The disease has already led China’s sow-breeding herd to decline by 15%.
The culling has caused the price of pork in China to rise and has led the nation to make its third-biggest weekly purchase of pork from the US ever, as the trade war raised tariff levels to 62%.