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Swine Fever Continues to Ravage China’s Pork Industry

By Du Caicai and Ren Qiuyu / Jul 30, 2019 12:24 PM / Economy

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Pig stocks are dwindling and pork prices are rising as China grapples with the effects of the African swine fever outbreak that officials say has so far resulted in the culling of more than 1 million pigs.

Li Shuilong, the president of the China Meat Association, estimates from public data that the country’s total pork production may decline by 15% to 20% in 2019 — a drop of 8 to 10 million tons.

Meanwhile, domestic pork prices continue to soar. A June monthly analysis said that “due to a continuous decline in pig stocks, pork supply has decreased and prices have maintained an upward trend.” Prices have continued to rise in July.

In June, the market price of pork rose 3.7% from the previous month and 29.2% year-on-year to 25.62 yuan ($3.72) per kilogram. The price of live pigs also rose 6.4% from the previous month and 40.8% year-on-year to 15.94 yuan per kilogram. And the price of piglets jumped even more, up 4.4% from the previous month and up 65.7% year-on-year to 39.77 yuan per kilogram.

Both the central government and provincial authorities are working to stabilize pork production and supply, according to a recent video conference held by the Ministry for Agricultural and Rural Affairs.

Contact reporter Ren Qiuyu (qiuyuren@caixin.com)

Related: In Depth: How Secrecy and Loopholes Fueled China’s Swine Fever Crisis

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