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News 418 views last update:Jul 23, 2008

China's pig sector on the rise again

China's pig production is back on track again, according to figures released by the country's Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), the Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.

The number of pigs in stock by the end of June was up 10.6% in comparison to the same month in 2007, the ministry survey shows. It included approximately 1,800 scaled farms and 1,800 private farms in 20 relevant provinces.

The survey also reveals that the number of pigs slaughtered rose by 4.8%. Stocks of breeding sows rose by 20%, which is expected to ease piglet supplies in the fourth quarter of the year.

Remarkable recovery
The recovery of China's live pig production is remarkable, as the country's sector suffered from feed price rises, a harsh winter (which killed 4 million pigs).

On top of that, the country was hit by a severe earthquake in the province of Sichuan, earlier this year, in which 3.66 million pigs died.

China's pork prices hit record levels high early 2008 as a consequence of shortages due to diseases and farmers reluctance to step up breeding.

Support
The Chinese authorities recently allocated 2.8 billion yuan (about $420 million) to support live pig production.

These efforts seem to have paid off, since the Ministry of Commerce reported a slowing down of pork price rises last week.

Wholesale prices of pork in the major Chinese cities reached CNY 21.07/kg (€1.95) in the week from July 7 to 13, inching down 0.9% over the previous week.

Retail prices of lean meat and bacon belly in these cities in the week were CNY 29.14/kg (€2.69) and CNY 24.87/kg (€2.30) respectively, the same as the previous week.

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