Pork Production Down in China and Wheeler to Lead EPA
**Two of China's major pork producers sharply cut 2018 profit estimates, after African swine fever devastated prices and demand for pork in the world's largest hog producer in the second half of the year.
Agweb.com reports, Muyuan Foods cut its 2018 net profit forecast to roughly $73-million, down at least 20% from an earlier estimate in October, and down nearly 80% from 2017.
With approximately 100 outbreaks of ASF in China since August, these warnings of lower profit estimates were not a major surprise.
**President Trump has formally nominated acting EPA director to lead the agency.
According to milkbusiness.com, the White House says Trump sent Wheeler's nomination to the Senate, making good on a promise made in November.
In a statement, Wheeler says "I am honored and grateful President Trump has nominated me to lead the Environmental Protection Agency."
EPA is currently operating with a skeleton staff because of the government shutdown.
**China wasn't the only trade meeting happening last week. The European Union's trade chief was in Washington D.C. meeting with U.S. and Japanese trade leaders.
While the scope of the negotiations is unclear, EU trade commissioner, Cecilia Malmstrom, says one thing not included in talks was agriculture.
Officials hope the talks will keep President Trump from slapping 25% tariffs on European auto imports, mostly from Germany.
While agriculture was not discussed, there were talks regarding the World Trade Organization and its effectiveness.