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Investment aims to boost China’s pork production

Bolstered by a state-initiated investment of CNY50 billion (US$7.15 billion) 15 of China’s leading pig farms signed 19 agreements with local governments in 16 cities to boost pork production.

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Gary Tamin | freeimages.com

China’s large pig farms will invest in smaller farms to produce hogs, pull rural farmers out of poverty

More than a dozen of China’s largest pig farms will invest in smaller farms to boost pork production and pull rural families out of poverty, the country’s agriculture minister said.

Bolstered by a state-initiated investment of CNY50 billion (US$7.15 billion) 15 of China’s leading pig farms signed 19 agreements with local governments in 16 cities. The agreements are expected to produce more than 22 million hogs per year and involve more than 33,000 poor rural farmers.

Nearly half of China’s pork production comes from farms that produce fewer than 500 pigs per year. A recent report from Rabobank said China’s pig herd loss as a result of African swine fever (ASF) is expected to be 55% in 2019, with the sow herd seeing a larger decline.

“The scale of the decline in China in 2019 is unprecedented, and it will lead to even lower production in 2020,” the report said.

Further declines are expected in the first half of 2020, with restocking likely in the second half. The pace of herd loss will slow in 2020 due to reduced farm numbers and increased biosecurity. 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%.

The number of hogs available for slaughter is expected to decline greatly in 2020, and China’s pork meat supply is expected to fall by 15% in 2020, compared with 2019.

China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said in a report in early December that “pig production has shown a clear recovery momentum,” with a month-over-month increase in the breeding sow stock of 0.6% in October – the first increase in 19 months.

Pork prices in China has spiked since the outbreak started and the country has imported record amounts of meat to meet demand and supplement its production losses.

“We shall take advantage of the current good pork prices and guide large pig enterprises to lead middle-and-small-sized farmers in poor areas to recover breeding of hogs,” Agriculture Minister Han Changfu said when announcing the investment agreements.

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