Cattle and hog futures have posted sharp declines since China announced an outbreak of Coronavirus in its Hubei province. While the disease was first discovered in late 2019, it was not until late January that Chinese officials recognized (accepted) the scale and virulence of this new virus. The disease has been compared to SARS in terms of the symptoms but there are some key differences. The disease appears to be much more virulent than SARS. In just a few weeks over 60,000 cases have been reported. The death rate appears to be far higher than H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic, which in 2009 infected over 700 million people worldwide and with a 0.02% death rate caused the death of over 280,000 people. The death rate for the Novel Coronavirus virus is currently at 2%, leading Chinese authorities to quarantine an entire province in order to contain the spread. Additionally, Chinese officials extended the Lunar New Year weeklong holiday by another week and imposed significant restrictions on the movement of people and goods among provinces.
Please see the rest of the document for our detailed price summary as well as our forecasts for the next six months.