Rabobank is projecting that China has lost about 40 percent of its pig herd to African Swine fever since July 2018. Losses are expected to rise to 50 percent by the end of 2019.

In its Pork Quarterly, the bank estimates losses up to 60 percent in some areas since the outbreak began. It anticipates that it will take at least five years for Chinese pork production to reach pre-outbreak levels.

“We estimate the herd loss across the country is over 40% as of now,” the report reads. “For the whole year, the herd loss could exceed 50% on a year-on-year basis. Driven by the prospects of strong prices in 2020, farmers and companies have started restocking in small scale in some regions, but very few of these efforts have been successful. However, we expect more companies will accelerate restocking by holding back gilts for reproduction.”

Despite increased demand, animal feed prices are up almost 10 percent across most of China. Prices for live hogs have increased 40 percent since the same time last year and over 15 percent higher than just last month.

Chinese pork imports are up over 40 percent. China has increased its imports from every pork-producing region in the world except for the U.S.

U.S. pork production is expected to increase nearly 6 percent by the end of 2019, Rabobank projects.