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Quantifying the U.S. Market Response to the African Swine Fever Outbreak in China

Christopher C. Pudenz and Lee Schulz

ISU General Staff Papers from Iowa State University, Department of Economics

Abstract: China reported its first outbreak of African swine fever in August 2018. The devastation caused to the Chinese hog herd has had far-reaching implications for the international pork market. The protein deficit caused by the African swine fever outbreak in China and elsewhere in Southeast Asia continues to create opportunities for exporting countries to fill the void and provides openings for back-filling other partner country’s demand needs. At the same time, increased prevalence of ASF has fueled concerns regarding the spread into disease-free regions, including the United States. Given the position of both China and the United States in the international pork market, of interest is how the U.S. pork market has responded. A structural break test identifies up to five structural breaks in a constructed series of “year-out” implied volatilities calculated from CME lean hog options. We calculate changes in the market-perceived probability of a catastrophic price decrease occurring in the CME lean hog market, with results indicating that the probability has increased substantially. The average market-perceived probability of a 30% price decrease during August 27, 2018, to March 13, 2019, increased by 165% compared to the period November 11, 2017, to August 26, 2018. Hog producers, government entities, and allied industries could all leverage this information in many of their business decisions, risk analyses, and contingency planning.

Date: 2020-01-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cna and nep-sea
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