China is beginning to show signs that it is rebuilding its pig herd, which was decimated in recent years be an outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) which devastated the country’s pig population.
It is difficult exactly to say how much and how quickly the country’s pig population is growing, but according to a report from head of market specialist of daily and livestock at AHDB Chris Gooderham, an increase in whey product imports provides a good indication that the pig herd is on the rise.
In July 2020, China recorded its highest level of whey product imports for at least ten years, importing 63.9k tonnes – a 63% uplift since April, and 64% higher than whey imports in July last year.
Mr Gooderham explained: “When the pig herd reduced, the resultant impact on China’s demand for whey products was evident. Imports fell from around 51k tonnes per month in the summer of 2018 to just 33k tonnes per month the following year. Over the last 3 months (May to July), those imports have averaged 57.6k tonnes,” which he says suggest the country’s pig herd is rebuilding healthily.