Following a severe outbreak of African Swine Flu (ASF) on the Chinese mainland, U.S. meat exports to the country have risen dramatically. According to trade data from the USDA released on Aug. 2, beef exports from the U.S. to China were up 73% in June 2019 compared to June 2018.

Total U.S. beef exports to China have been up 4.9% for the first half of the year compared to the first half of 2018. Additionally, pork, the main commodity affected by the outbreak of this disease, has seen a remarkable uptick in imports in China. According to the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC), “second quarter purchases [of pork] rose 76.7 million pounds over the prior year. March through June have shown steadily increasing volumes of U.S. pork [exports to China]. June was up 190%, which was followed by May up 95%.”

The LMIC noted that the outbreak of ASF might be considered as an opportunity to several U.S. meat producers in Vietnamese and Chinese markets, saying, “It’s still unknown what the true total magnitude of ASF impacts are for the U.S. sectors of beef, pork and poultry, but June data provided a strong mid-year finish … Given the toll ASF has taken on their meat supply as well, the Vietnamese market bears watching for the next couple of years, in addition to the Chinese market.”

Vietnam, in close proximity to China, has also been affected by the ASF outbreak and is predicted to become a growing market for U.S. exports, should the current trend continue. The LMIC notes that poultry exports from the U.S. to Vietnam have also increased in the first half of the year. “Expectations are that the Vietnamese and Chinese markets will continue to expand this year and could see unprecedented export growth next year,” said the center.