Weekly USMEF Audio Report: African Swine Fever in Germany a Shakeup for Global Pork Trade
DENVER, CO – Sep 21, 2020 – African swine fever (ASF) was confirmed in Germany Sept. 9, when a dead wild boar near the Germany-Poland border tested positive. Additional ASF cases have since been confirmed in Germany – all in wild boars in the eastern state of Brandenburg.
As U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Economist Erin Borror explains, global pork production remains at the same level but ASF in Germany will reshuffle pork trade patterns. All markets outside the European Union are now effectively closed to German pork, including major Asian destinations. German pork shipped to non-EU markets had accounted for about 9% of global pork exports in 2020, with much of this total – nearly 50,000 metric tons per month – going to China. Germany’s absence could increase the already-large volumes of U.S. pork being shipped to China, though Borror cautions that the U.S. industry will face intense competition from other suppliers.
Germany is also a major pork supplier for South Korea, but a large percentage of these exports are single-ribbed bellies. This is not a space the U.S. is likely to fill, due to very strong domestic demand for bellies and the labor required to meet Korean buyers’ specifications. The same applies to Japan’s imports of single-ribbed bellies, which are more likely to be replaced by other European suppliers. Borror also notes that bolstered by the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement, the U.S. industry has already recaptured much of the ground seasoned pork business Germany had established in Japan.
The U.S. Meat Export Federation (www.USMEF.org) is the trade association responsible for developing international markets for the U.S. red meat industry. It is funded by USDA; the beef, pork, lamb, corn and soybean checkoff programs, as well as its members representing nine industry sectors: beef/veal producing & feeding, pork producing & feeding, lamb producing & feeding, packing & processing, purveying & trading, oilseeds producing, feedgrains producing, farm organizations and supply & service organizations.
Submitted to the BARN by:
Vice President, Communications
U.S. Meat Export Federation