The big news, with a lot of competition, is the state of pork – African swine fever, which first appeared in China in the middle of last year, is now a really big problem, and the number of pigs that are dying – either from the disease or from culling – is having a significant effect on supplies. The authorities are assuring the market that there will be sufficient supplies for the mid-autumn festival this weekend – happy festival everyone! – but in spite of a big increase in imports, prices are rising and there are reports of restrictions on purchase quantities in at least one city. Given the importance of pork to the Chinese diet and the potential impact on inflation, this is a big deal.
There were mixed messages on the ongoing US-China trade war, a slight delay in the imposition of tariffs and an announcement on agricultural purchases… all slightly suggestive of a possible end, but the Chinese side also stated that a resumption of talks, scheduled for next month, does not imply any change in stance on key issues.
The economy continues to show signs of slowing and the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai issued the results of a survey of its members saying that companies see the economic slowdown as having more of an impact on business than the trade war. Bank reserve ratios were cut, freeing up more money in the economy, but it is not clear how much of it will get to the companies that really need it – the SMEs that play such a crucial role in employment.
Overall, on this day, the moon is bright, but the visibility it still low. Enjoy a moon cake if you can.