African swine fever (ASF) could weigh on world dairy prices as pig feed demand reduces, but it could have a longer term positive impact as demand for beef goes up.
Rabobank has flagged the potential for falls in the prices of some milk-derived products used in pig feed as the Chinese herd contracts.
Between 2016 and 2018, China imported an average of 84,000 tonnes of lactose annually plus about 530,000t of whey and whey permeate, which are composed largely of lactose.
More than half was used in animal feed.
But it would prove bullish for dairy prices in exporting countries as beef demand increases to replace losses in the pork output.
Rabobank said this could result in increased culling of dairy cows to fill the gap, constraining Chinese milk production and putting positive longer-term pressure on global milk prices.