Chinese farmers ‘holding onto their larger pigs on hopes of a price rebound’

A pig trader in the north-western province of Shaanxi, China, has said many of the pigs he has been buying weigh more than 200 kilograms, compared with their usual size of around 125 kilograms, according to a report from Bloomberg.

“Some farmers are holding onto their larger pigs on hopes of a price rebound,” said Cao Tao, the pig trader.

Many farmers had reportedly fattened their pigs in anticipation of a recovery in pork prices, but Lin Guofa, a senior analyst at consultancy Bric Agriculture Group. aid that the rout since February has triggered a sell-off of these large animals that may be delaying a rebound in prices.

“When these farms sell together, the sell-off causes an explosive price slump,” Mr Goufa explained. Farms in the southwest and south are apparently holding a large number of “cow-sized” pigs, which could be sold as the weather warms and push down prices for a while yet, he added.

Chinese wholesale pork prices have fallen more than 40% since mid-January amid slow demand, increased imports, and panic selling by farmers after fresh outbreaks of African swine fever.

Muyuan Foods Co., the country’s biggest pig breeder, said this week it’s expecting a continued drop in domestic hog prices, with the slump not bottoming out until next year or even 2023.

“Super-sized” pigs are partially to blame for the drop in pork prices, Qiu Huaji, the head of swine infectious diseases at Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, said at a conference last week.

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