Thursday, December 19, 2019

Be cautious about expanding hog production

Hog farmers ought to be cautious about expanding production next year.

While the short-term outlook is great, the long-term outlook is not so great.

African Swine Fever in China and now nearby countries has created a price bubble as China looks to fill its needs with imports.

Canada was left out for much of last year because of a scandal with export certificates, but now it’s open again to export pork and beef to China.

That will increase demand and likely keep pushing prices higher. More important, the United States is poised to sell significantly more pork to China and that is already driving prices higher.

But China is busy now with plans to restore its hog population, and it’s going to be a much more modern, efficient and larger-scale hog-production sector.

That will leave the world’s pork exporters looking for markets other than China. It could also mean that China will be in a position to export pork from its modernized, efficient rebuilt pork sector.

And so, hog farmers should be taking a cautious look at their situation, ensuring that they are prepared to survive a market crunch that is likely to hit a in two or three years.