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Branstad: China continues to rebuild swine herd after ASF outbreak

Former U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad says the Chinese are making progress rebuilding the country’s swine herd from African Swine Fever. “But they still have had some recurrence at different locations in China,” Branstad says.  “It’s a big country.  I think they’ve learned a lot about food security through this process.”

He says China has been purchasing U.S. commodities to help restore the country’s pork industry. “One of the reasons why they’ve had to purchase significant amount of corn and soybeans is to rebuild that.  That’s what pigs eat, corn and soybeans,” Branstad says. 

The USDA says China bought more than 130,000 tons of soybeans on Friday – the first sale since June 24th. China’s most recent reported purchase of corn was for 1.2 million tons on May 20th.

He says it’s vital that the U.S. continues to help the Chinese rebuild their herd. “They have half the pork in the world in China and that’s their favorite source of protein is pork so it’s very important.” 

Branstad made his remarks on Wednesday at the Nebraska Ag and Economic Development Summit in Kearney.

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