China's food security under pressure again
China's food security is under pressure again due to the African swine fever (ASF) situation in the country and isolation measure imposed in the Hubei province, an area affected by the current outbreak of novel coronavirus. Hubei is also one of the provinces that concentrates a large number of poultry producers and the new restrictions in the transportation of birds and feed have led to a massive culling in farms, according to Reuters.
The annual poultry production in the province reaches 500 million birds but that figure may drop dramatically as the lockdown of the region and a bird flu outbreak reported last week threatens almost 300 million birds. Since last year, China has increased meat imports to a level never seen before to cover the gap created by the ASF crisis.
This new situation may advantage Brazilian exporters of poultry and pork, who are already capitalizing on China's increased demand for meat."Our representatives in China tell us that there are major concerns over food security", confirmed Fernando Turra, president of ABPA. Last year, Brazilian poultry exports to China have increased by 34%, while pork exports were up by 61%. Meantime, the US meat industry has reasons to believe that the boom in exports foreseen after the signing of the Phase 1 trade deal may be delayed due to restrictions imposed by China.