China, the world’s top soybean importer, is seeking supplies from Brazil through September after it halted U.S. purchases because of the trade war. But for the fourth quarter, processors are hesitant to buy because they find it hard to gauge the impact of African swine fever on feed demand.

The decline in benchmark Chicago soybean futures coupled with an increase in China’s soybean meal prices has made it viable for companies to process Brazilian beans for September loading into meal, according to traders, even with the gains in Brazilian premiums. Crush margins calculated by the China National Grain and Oils Information Center are about the highest in two months.

While processors are in the market for Brazilian beans for August and September, the pace of buying beyond that trails last year, said Hou Xueling, an analyst with Everbright Futures Co. “Crushers are not buying much in advance, and many are concerned that demand for downstream products will fall off a cliff in the fourth quarter” because of the killer hog virus, Hou said.

Many livestock feed producers are pessimistic about sales in the fourth quarter as hog numbers shrink further, Hou said, with some mills expecting pig feed output to plunge as much as 40% in the final three months from a year earlier because farms are not restocking their herds, reducing demand, Hou said.

A survey by the livestock feed association showed that hog feed production slumped 27% in June from a year ago, and feed output for breeding sows tumbled 30%, according to the Information Center. The center has also cut its estimate for soybean imports by 2 million tons to 87 million tons in 2019-20.

In Shandong, a major hog breeding province, pig herds slumped 36% on year in July and breeding sow numbers fell 42%, according to the local government.