All farmers, especially livestock producers sure could use a little good news with what the COVID-19 pandemic did to prices on the farm. I was reading the daily Pro Farmer newsletter earlier this week and the headline China's Pork Imports Jump 170 percent caught my attention. Pro Farmer credited their information was form Reuters and U.S. customs data. Remember China lost about 50 percent of their pigs because of the African Swine Fever outbreak. To put it in perspective China used to have more pigs than the rest of the world combined!

The Chinese people like pork and eat a lot of it. The price of pork in China was 3 to 4 times the price of pork in the U.S. before COVID-19 began to shut down pork processing plants and prices began to increase. It is not a surprise China imported a record 400,000 metric tons of U.S. pork in April. In April China also imported 160,000 metric ton of beef which was up 28 percent from the past year. It is likely that China will import less U.S. pork and beef in May because of the price increases due to the pandemic.

I read that China wants to build a strategic food reserve. Again, it is no surprise that China has been buying a lot of U.S. soybeans, sorghum, wheat, corn and even ethanol! Well, technically they did not buy U.S. ethanol. There was a country in the Middle East that bought a boat load U.S. ethanol and then resold it to China!

The U.S. and many other countries shut down their economies because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Agriculture is in a world of financial hurt right now because of the crash in farm prices. Meat processing plants are increasing production and things seem to be moving in the right direction toward normal. Exporting ag products to China will sure help too!


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