Spain wants to benefit from China's import ban on German pork

China banned pork imports from Germany on Saturday after confirming its first case of African swine fever (ASF) last week. This hits the German pig farmers particularly hard and boosts world market prices, as China's meat supplies are becoming scarce.
China is grappling with an unprecedented pork shortage as it has its own ASF epidemic.
Germany's ban, which has supplied around 14% of Chinese pork imports so far this year, will boost demand for meat from other major suppliers such as the US and Spain, and boost world market prices.
German pork exports to China amount to around 1 billion euros annually, and the volume had doubled in the first four months of this year due to increasing demand after Chinese production shrank by around 20%.
A spokeswoman for the German Ministry of Food and Agriculture upheld the ban, adding that the ministry is continuing to negotiate with the Chinese government on the matter.
The German Farmers' Association (DBV) called on the federal government to continue talks with China on a regional import ban that only affects the area in which an ASF case has been identified, and not a blanket national import ban.
Germany's huge pork sales to China also involve large amounts of pig ears, feet and tails. These are rarely eaten in Europe. The import ban has caused great concern among German farmers about where the pigs can now be sold, said DBV President Joachim Rukwied.
The ban announced by China’s Customs and Agriculture Ministry was widely expected given that Beijing had acted swiftly in such cases.
Today, Chinese President Xi Jinping meets Chancellor Angela Merkel on video. European Union leaders will also attend the conference.
Switching deliveries to China is expected to benefit other major suppliers such as the US, Spain and Brazil.
The Spanish pig market is fully prepared for this.It will continue its increasing sales of high-quality pork products in the Chinese market, said Daniel de Miguel, international director of the trade organization Interporc, on Friday, even before the ban became known.
Unlike other European countries, Spain has not had to shut down pork processing plants in recent weeks due to coronavirus outbreaks, he added.
The United States is also well positioned to get more pork to China, said Joe Schuele, spokesman for the U.S. Meat Export Federation.
The U.S. live hog futures climbed Thursday and Friday in anticipation of the ban.

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