Chart of the week: hogs high on swine fever

The number of pigs in China, around 450 million, is set to shrink by a third by the end of 2019 as swine flu rages – meanwhile, US pork sales to China have hit a record high.

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Ever since last summer, the Chinese government has been insisting that it has the outbreak of African swine fever under control, says the Financial Times. But "the crisis is now undeniable", and the world's biggest producer and consumer of pork is shaking the global market.

The number of pigs in China, around 450 million, is set to shrink by a third by the end of 2019 as the incurable disease rages. US pork sales to China have hit a record high despite a 62% tariff imposed on the products amid the trade war. Dwindling supply will propel Chinese prices up by 70% year-on-year in the second half, reckon analysts, while lean hog futures traded in Chicago, a key global benchmark, have just rocketed to a two-year high around 90 US cents per pound.

Viewpoint

Nick Maggiulli, Of Dollars and Data

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