US pork prepares for falling export demand as China rebuilds herd

U.S. pork exports continue to break records, buoyed by unprecedented demand from China, where African swine fever decimated production, but the country is quickly rebuilding its herd and American producers are preparing to adapt.

The U.S. exported about 801,000 metric tons of pork, valued at $1.83 billion, to China in the first three quarters of 2020, according to data compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation. That was a 96% increase in volume and a 120% increase in value over the same time period last year.

But ASF outbreaks in China are declining in frequency and the country’s production is on the rise, spurred by high prices and government incentives to wean the country off its recent reliance on foreign suppliers.

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