[08 March/Rural Life]

Spread of the African Swine disease in China has increased measures at its borders. The spread of the severe viral disease is meant to offer increased export opportunities for beef exporters like New Zealand. Rabobank released a report stating the disease has potential to substantially shift the Asian meat trade, impacting both importers and exporters. Increased border enforcement has also effected pricing across all Chinese meat products. Last year, China overtook the United States as New Zealand’s single largest export market for beef products. Pork consumption in China is dropping, leaving a supply gap of one to two million tonnes of 2019 which will be partially filled by other meats. However, due to the size of the pork market in China, additional imports and meat substitution cannot make up for the decline in pork production therefore all meat prices were expected to rise in the second quarter of 2019. The Rabobank report said that other developments would also impact the global beef market such as the floods in Australia and Brexit negotiations