New Hope exec: China pig herd to recover from ASF by 2021

New Hope exec: China pig herd to recover from ASF by 2021

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Liu Yonghao says new entrants into the country’s pork industry will bring down pork prices

The chairman of China-based New Hope Group said he expects the country’s pig herd to recover from the devastation of African swine fever (ASF) by 2021, according to a Reuters report.

Liu Yonghao said China’s pork industry will see new entrants in the next year, which will cause pork prices to come down, after hitting record levels since ASF hit in 2018. He predicted pork prices will remain high this year but, as new companies from other industries – such as real estate and technology – invest in pig farming, prices will come down.

“These companies, with big money, usually invest a lot,” he said in the report. “On the one hand, they can push the development of pig farming rapidly. On the other hand, it will definitely lead to oversupply and finally, push prices below production cost.”

In December 2019, China’s Ministry of Agriculture reported that its pig herd size had stopped declining, suggesting the start of a recovery from the drastic effects of ASF. In October 2019, Rabobank estimated China’s herd loss to be down 50% for the first eight months of 2019 compared with the same period the previous year. Rabobank has predicted further declines in the first half of 2020, with restocking likely in the second half. The best-case scenario, the report said, is that the herd will be slightly larger at the end of 2020 than at the beginning, by 8%.

According to Feed Strategy’s Top Feed Companies database, New Hope Group’s affiliate company New Hope Liuhe is China’s largest animal feed manufacturer and one of China’s largest agri-husbandry enterprises. In 2018, the company produced 20 million metric tons of feed at its 200 feed mills.

Vietnam begins to rebuild pig herd

Vietnam reported that it will import 20,000 breeding pigs from Thailand this year, according to a separate article from Free Malaysia Today. Vietnam’s pig herd has also been depleted by ASF since the disease was first discovered there in February 2019.

According to reports, the first shipment of 250 pigs has arrived from Thailand and piglets will be produced by the end of the year.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance said the country more than doubled its imports of pork in 2019. In December, the ministry said it had imported more than 110,000 metric tons of pork so far that year.

View our continuing coverage of the African swine fever outbreak.