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Multiple reports say that African swine fever (ASF) continues to spread across Asia, with Forbes saying that it “poses some serious market implications for global agriculture.”

ASF is described as “a viral disease that is both highly contagious and almost always fatal. While the virus cannot be transmitted to humans and is not a food-safety threat, the economic consequences from a spread of this disease are potentially devastating.”

China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of pork, and Forbes goes on to say that “since China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs confirmed the ASF outbreak in Liaoning Province in early August 2018, the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has reported that the contagion has spread across all of China’s provinces, and into Vietnam and Cambodia. And last week, the virus had reportedly spread to North Korea, a country that is unlikely to make any effort toward containment.”

That’s not to say that ASF is bad news for everybody.

Reuters reports that Tyson Foods is saying that “the U.S. meat processing industry could reap significant financial gains from a global shortfall in pork … Tyson projected its U.S. pork, chicken and beef units could all benefit from increased demand linked to outbreaks of African swine fever.”

The story says that “China is expected to import more protein to make up for its hog deaths … The losses could help Tyson by pushing up pork prices and prompting consumers to buy more chicken and beef as alternatives.”
KC's View:
Nice to know that somebody is going to profit from all these sick animals. Though maybe they could’ve found a less opportunistic, more compassionate way to make the case.