ASF and China's Pork Demand and Milk Price Prospects
**Since African swine fever first appeared in China last August, officials have confirmed about 100 outbreaks of the disease, but could it cause a slowdown in China's pork consumption?
U.S. Meat Export Federation's Ming Liang says he's observed some decline in demand, but it's likely temporary given pork is such a longstanding and important staple in China.
Should ASF lead to an increase in China's need for pork, an important opportunity could emerge for the U.S.
**With the recent strength in cheese prices, there's hope milk prices may be on the rise.
According to milkbusiness.com, there's a feeling cow numbers have been declining as farmers continue to exit the dairy business, but it has not been confirmed due to December Milk Production reports being held up by the government shutdown.
Some plants express concern the milk supply is tightening, but that may be plant specific as there are other reports plants, primarily in the west, are running at or near capacity.
**Negotiators for China and the U.S. continuing talks as President Trump's March 1st deadline looms.
According to agrimarketing.com, the president has tweeted "big progress" is being made.
Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says some of that headway is in the negotiations to get China to lift its barriers to U.S. ag exports and he thinks real progress can be made with the Chinese on ag issues, BUT it has to be real reform with enforceability.