As swine fever rages, China scours world for pork

China is scouring the world for meat to replace the millions of pigs killed by African Swine Fever.

The disease is re-shaping global markets for pork, beef and chicken -

Boosting prices, business and profits for European and South American meatpackers.

The EU is the world's second largest pork producer after China.

It's ramped up sales to the Asian giant - but can only fill part of the shortfall.

Argentina and Brazil have also stepped in to fill the gap by approving new export plans to meet demand.

U.S. producers, however, have been hampered due to tariffs imposed by Beijing.

Other Asian countries are also stepping up imports as they, too, deal with outbreaks of the disease.

China has the world's largest pig population.

But it's estimated that it was halved in the first eight months of 2019, and will likely shrink by 55 percent by the end of the year.

The country's state-owned agriculture conglomerate COFCO said this week it had agreed to buy $100 million of pork from one of the biggest European players, Danish Crown, in 2020 to help ease the domestic shortage.

Pork shortages have been exacerbated by the upcoming Lunar New Year celebrations in January - where pork dumplings are one of the main foods on offer.