ASF decimated Asian hog herds more than it did consumption. Covid-19 dented western pork consumption, but not its production. The net result is a huge, China-centric increase in the global swine meat trade.
Stagnant domestic consumption, protectionist feed policies, two disease outbreaks and trade politics turned Europe's swine sector into a China-destined export powerhouse.
World pork exports are booming but without China, they would have stagnated for a second consecutive year. Devastating swine sector misfortunes give Beijing the power to decide who will enjoy export-led growth.