The Chinese market for imported pork remains subdued following weak demand in the first few months of the year, The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) has reported.
Meanwhile, although wholesale meat prices have been broadly steady, AHDB lead analyst for red meat, Duncan Wyatt, said there are ‘faint signs’ of an upturn in both pork prices and the price of live pigs.
“Market reports suggest profitability has been extremely poor for pig producers in recent months, and slaughter has increased as some exit the market, further depressing prices,” said Mr Wyatt.
In the short term, pig prices in the country are expected to stabilise according to market analysts CNGARI.
Pig prices recently saw a sharp drop because of a resurgence of Covid-19, and on 13 April, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of Guangdong Province published a notice suspending the transfer of pigs for slaughter from other regions from 1 May, which pushed up pig prices in southern China.
Mr Wyatt added: “Even with the May Day holiday, household consumption was expected to see little growth, and pork supply was expected to be sufficient overall to meet demand.
“Covid-19 is a wider issue for China at the moment, with strict lockdowns already in place in some areas and the world watching if Beijing will be next to experience restrictions.”