China’s pork output surges

China’s second-quarter pork production surged to its highest in at least seven years, official data revealed, after producers launched thousands of new breeding farms last year to rebuild the country’s hog herd.

Pork output for April-June was 13.46 million tonnes, up 40% compared with the same period last year and well above the usual 10 million tonnes during this period, according to Reuters’ calculations based on official data.

The National Bureau of Statistics said China’s pork output jumped 35.9% in the first half of 2021 versus a year earlier to 27.15 million tonnes.

The surge in pork production was led by the largest producers after they invested billions of yuan in new farms during 2020 in a bid to take more market share in the aftermath of the African Swine Fever epidemic.

Sales data from 16 listed hog producers showed they produced 42.8 million hogs for slaughter in the first half, an increase of more than 100% over the prior year, said Boya Consulting in a report on Wednesday.

“The outbreak of African swine fever before China’s Spring Festival saw pigs slaughtered ahead of time, and the price drop in May and June also quickened the pace of slaughtering of overweight pigs. That added to pork output,” said Rosa Wang, an analyst with Shanghai JC Intelligence Co Ltd.

The statistics bureau also said China slaughtered 337.42 million hogs in the first six months of the year, up 34.4% from the corresponding period a year earlier. Its pig herd expanded 29.2% year-on-year to 439.11 million heads at end-June.

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