China’s purchases of U.S. pork and soybeans rebounded in November and December, ahead of today’s signing of the phase one trade agreement between the two nations. 

Reuters reports that Chinese agricultural imports from the United States were at 14.1 billion yuan, or $2 billion, in December. 

A Chinese customs spokesperson says the increase in imports of soybeans and pork comes as “positive U.S.-China trade sentiment has boosted companies’ confidence in December.” 

African swine fever has severely reduced China’s hog herd, the world’s largest producer and consumer of pork. 

China has since increased exports of U.S. pork to record levels. 

Pork exports to China and Hong Kong were up 49 percent in value at $1.18 billion from January to November 2019. 

Consumer prices for pork in China nearly doubled since the initial outbreak of African swine fever, and efforts to rebuild the hog herd in China are slow going. 

China has also released frozen pork from state-owned reserves to help ease the situation for consumers.