Chart of the week: hogs high on swine fever

US lean hogs price chart

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.


“You can talk about cutting expenses all you want, but it’s income that builds wealth. So when I hear a blogger say they saved 70% of their after-tax income and then I find out they made easily more than $200k, their “sacrifice” is a bit hollow… to get wealthy you need to earn a high income and just keep buying stocks… Unfortunately, the sad truth is that most Americans will never be able to do this.  They will never earn enough money to invest and get rich… 54% of US households don’t own any stocks and 69% of working Americans save 10% of their income or less (with 21% of working Americans saving nothing at all). This is why the personal finance industry loves the “cut your lattes and get rich” style of advice… They love it because it opens a new door in a world where the other door high income is closed for most people…  But it’s all bullshit.”

Nick Maggiulli, Of Dollars and Data