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Chinese to increase pork imports in 2008

Pork consumption continues to outstrip production in China, resulting in higher import projections for 2008.

The USDA's agricultural attaché in Beijing commented in a semi-annual report that livestock production had been disrupted by the worst snowstorms in 50 years during January and February and a slow recovery from porcine blue ear disease.

An 8% rise in pork imports is predicted in 2008 to 200,000 metric tonnes along with a 6% decline in exports to 330,000 metric tonnes.

The report put 2008 domestic pork production at 42 million metric tonnes, up 1% from 2007, but still 16% below 2005.

Chinese pig production is undergoing a shift from small backyard operations to large commercial farms.

50-60% backyard operations have abandoned swine production while the number of commercial farms has increased 20% in the last few years.

The report said US-based Whiteshire Hamroc Co and China Tangrenshen Group in Hunan Province have signed a contract to import 2,000 breeding pigs for a large commercial hog development project.

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