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ne could see it coming from a mile away, but still the breakout in Chinese pork prices as a result of the country’s “pig ebola” outbreak and the ongoing trade war with the US, is a sight to behold.

As the chart below shows, pork prices in China have soared to record highs in the past two weeks, adding pressure on a government trying to contain food-price inflation during the trade war with the U.S., even as the country’s Producer Price index posted its first negative print in 3 years, putting China in a bind: contain soaring food inflation, or stimulate the economy and risk an angry public backlash (something we discussed extensively two weeks ago).

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Prices of China’s favorite protein – used in dishes such as lunchtime dumplings and spicy mapo tofu — have surged 18% in China in just two weeks, since the week ended Aug. 9 and are up more than 50% in the past year. The average price of pork, excluding offal, in the week ended Aug. 23 was 31.77 yuan a kilogram ($2.02 a pound), according to data from China’s Ministry of Commerce.\

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The cause for the price surge is well-known: African swine fever, which has been raging across China, and Asia, has decimated pork supplies. China’s pig herd had fallen 32% on year in July, according to data released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. Some analysts expect 2019 production could fall as much as 50% by the time the “pig ebola” is contained.

Chinese attache Hu Mi gave a press conference to discuss the price of pork issue.

“There no problem with Chinese Pork. Pork Ebola is contained and soon Chinese pigs will produce enough pork for potstickers and dumplings and Chinese roast pork soup”

“Ambassador MI, are pork prices going up because you have shunned American pork as part of the tariff war”

“Tariff war no problem, chinese make lotsa pig you see.  Soon China drowning in pig”

“Ambassador MI, how can you reconcile the runaway inflation in pork prices with Chinas harline stance on the Trump tariffs. Will there be a trade agreement soon”

“No need for more tariff, China just outwait Trump. Trump getting tired, he want deal now. Don’t worry, once tariff war over China will be full of pork”

“Ambassador MI, buthow long can China possibly survive a pork shortage?”

“Rook, rook, it simple. You make potsticker with two parts pork one part vegetable? Now just make potsticker two parts vegetable and one part pork. Still taste good”

“MI are you worried that the Pig ebola will spread to humans, we’ve seen pictures of thousands of deforormed Norther Han pig farmers”

“No danger. Ebola for pig, pork for humans. Eat potstiker and be happy. This will all be over soon”