Swine fever outbreak in China prompts pork price hikes

By Associated Press Reporter

Pork lovers worldwide are wincing at prices that have jumped up to 40% as African swine fever in China’s vast pig herds sends shock waves through global meat markets.

China produces and consumes two-thirds of the world’s pork, but supplies are falling as Beijing destroys herds and blocks shipments.

Importers are filling the gap by buying pork as far away as Europe, boosting prices and causing shortages in some markets.

Pigs stand in a barn at a pig farm in Jiangjiaqiao village in northern China’s Hebei province (Mark Schiefelbein/AP)

African swine fever does not harm humans.

It is deadly and spreads quickly among pigs.

It was first reported in August in China’s northeast.

Since then, one million pigs have died and the disease has spread to most Chinese provinces.

The higher prices are a serious concern in places such as Cambodia where pork is the only affordable meat for many families.