Outbreaks of African swine fever in China and Europe can significantly affect the poultry market, Rabobank analysts conclude.

Countries dependent on meat imports will build up stocks where possible and look for ASF-free suppliers. This will play into the hands of exporters of pork from the North and South Americas, as well as world suppliers of poultry.

At the same time, China and Europe will try to isolate and eliminate the sources of the epidemic, but this will take many months. Therefore, the Chinese are more likely to switch from the expensive and scarce imported pork to alternative proteins, chickens, fish, and even beef.

“In 2019, when Chinese consumers pass from pork to poultry, local prices for the poultry will go up,” said Nan-Dirk Mulder, a senior analyst at Rabobank. “This situation looks somewhat pessimistic, but in fact, the productivity of the poultry industry is still high in most countries of the world.”

In the second half of 2018, the global poultry market feels relatively well, analysts say. Its main driver is constant volatility in trade, mainly related to Brazil.

The reasons are the EU restrictions on supplying Brazilian poultry farms, a change in Halal standards in Saudi Arabia, a truckers strike in Brazil and the recent defense of Brazilian chicken imports to China.