Jan 17, 2020 (China Knowledge) - As the fatal hog disease African swine fever killed millions of pigs in the world’s top producer, the output of China’s 2019 pork dived to a 16-year low, official data showed on Friday.
China’s production of the meat last year was down 21.3% at 42.55 mln tonnes compared to 2018, and the lowest output since 2003, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data.
Amid the supply shortage, China’s food prices have soared as pork costs have increased and drive inflation close to an eight-year high in the world’s second-largest economy. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs reported China’s hog herd had declined in October by 41% from the previous year but rose by 2% in Nov.
On Friday, the NBS said the pig herd declined 27.5% compared to the previous year to 310.41 mln head by the end of Dec. That is an increase from the 306.75 mln head it reported for the first nine months of the year.
Rabobank forecasted that China’s pork production would shrink by 25% in 2019 to about 40.5 mln tonnes, and a further 10% to 15% in 2020.
The government has released hundreds of thousands of tonnes of frozen pork from reserves to stabilize the prices. Imports of the meat, in Dec, have also surged at almost double the previous month.
Total meat output including pork, beef, lamb, and poultry fell 10.2% in 2019 to 76.49 mln tonnes, the NBS data also showed.
However, beef output increased from 3.6% to 6.67 mln tonnes while poultry output leaped 12.3% to 22.39 mln tonnes.
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