Canada’s pork exporters expect a bumper 2020 as swine fever wipes out half of China’s pig population
Canada’s largest exporter of pork products to China expects shipments to the Asian nation to jump as much as 60 per cent next year amid renewed access to the market and a sharp increase in demand due to African swine fever.
The sunny outlook comes after a year of unprecedented swings in the fortunes of pork producers, who saw exports to China surge to record levels only to collapse when the country imposed a suspension on all Canadian meat in June.
China, the world’s largest consumer of pork, lifted its suspension in early November during the ongoing outbreak of African swine fever — a highly contagious pig disease that is expected to wipe out more than half of the country’s herd.
“From the day it was announced, business basically went full speed ahead,” said Richard Davies, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Quebec based Olymel LP, Canada’s largest supplier of pork to China. The Saint-Hyacinthe, Que.-based company has four plants in Quebec exporting to China and will add a fifth when the acquisition of pork producer F. Menard closes in January.