Pork industry showing signs of recovery

2019-11-24 03:50:32 GMT2019-11-24 11:50:32(Beijing Time) Sina English

Pork production in China is showing signs of a rebound, with supply shortages easing, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on Friday.

"Various policies to encourage pork production are taking effect. Breeding sow stocks have started to increase, restoration of production at sizable pig farms is accelerating and pork prices are seeing a decline," said Yang Zhenhai, chief of the ministry's Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medicine Bureau, at a news conference.

In October, the number of breeding sows in stock, a major indicator for pork production potential, increased by 0.6 percent, marking the first month-on-month increase since April last year, he said.

Restoration of pig stocks on sizable farms-those producing more than 5,000 pigs annually-is more prominent. Breeding sow stocks at these farms increased by 4.7 percent in October, compared with the previous month, and stocks of other pigs increased by 0.5 percent, both having witnessed a consecutive increase for two months, Yang said.

Pig stocks have seen bigger increases in the northeast and northwest along with parts of North China, while the decline of stocks in South China has been slowing, he added.

"It is expected that pig stocks will further improve in the first half of next year, but we may not see a significant increase in pork supplies in the market until the second half of next year. Our target is for pig stocks to reach about 80 percent of the level before the outbreak of African swine fever," he said.

China reported 160 African swine fever outbreaks as of Thursday since the first outbreak was reported in August last year, the ministry said.

Outbreaks of the disease, which are usually fatal for pigs but do not transmit to humans, caused significant supply declines since early this year of the most widely consumed meat in China, forcing the government to take various measures to encourage production while strictly carrying out disease prevention and control measures.

In addition to measures released by various ministries, including the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, 28 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions among all 31 on the Chinese mainland have released policies encouraging pork production, including supporting leading companies to establish high-standard pig raising farms and providing subsidies for replenishing stocks.

Although progress has been made in prevention and control of the fever with quarantine measures having been lifted in epidemic zones in 29 provinces, regions and municipalities, China still faces severe challenges in prevention and control of the disease.

In particular, the risks will increase with increasing stocks and more frequent transfer of live pigs between different regions to meet consumer demand ahead of Chinese New Year, Yang said.

The ministry will continue to urge local authorities to strictly carry out disease prevention and control measures while supporting restoration of production, he said.

Zhu Zengyong, a pork industry analyst at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, said that with government support and high pork prices, an increasing number of pig raisers are replenishing stocks. But challenges remain, including the possibility of further fever outbreaks.

In addition, more policies should be released to aid small-scale hog farmers, who are still the majority in China, to increase production, Zhu said.

Source: China Daily

| PRINT | RSS
Add Comment