Could China’s ASF Problem Put Pressure on Soybean Trade?

Disease concerns oversees might help raise pork prices, but could it affect will it have on soybean sales? Farmers weigh in on the issue during AgriTalk. ( Sara Brown )

Could China’s problems with African Swine Fever put pressure on the future of soybean trade? On AgriTalk’s Farmer Forum with Chip Flory, farmers are wondering what might happen if China’s hog herd takes a major hit from this disease.

“Because of our trade efforts in the ‘80s, they use a lot of soybeans in their rations,” said Casey Schuhmacher of Nebraska. “A higher percent than even the U.S. producers are using right now. And they are going to back off on the soybeans in the rations, and [we] worry about that on the soybean demand. But if they don’t have any hogs to feed, that’s really going to be a big issue.”

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“Because of our trade efforts in the ‘80s, they use a lot of soybeans in their rations,” said Casey Schuhmacher of Nebraska. “A higher percent than even the U.S. producers are using right now. And they are going to back off on the soybeans in the rations, and [we] worry about that on the soybean demand. But if they don’t have any hogs to feed, that’s really going to be a big issue.”

“What an opportunity for some pork exports,” said Chip Flory, AgriTalk host.

“You welcome them to have prices that might be up, but you forget about the demand destruction when you lose livestock out in the country…you’re talking about animals that will not be coming to the feeder consuming soybeans,” said Tim Recker, an Iowa farmer. “That should have some concern for guys in the grain business.”

Animal disease threats might be a black swan for grain prices, added Steve Pitstick, a farmer from Illinois. A year ago, he added, no one was considering the possibility of trade tariffs with any of our trading partners.

Listen to the full audio report to hear more discussion about farmers’ opinion of the trade environment ahead of harvest.

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