China: livestock prices expected to drop in 2009
The prices of China's major livestock products will continue to drop in 2009, said an official from the Ministry of Agriculture.
Wang Zhicai, director in charge of the ministry's department of stockbreeding, said at a recent national stockbreeding and veterinary meeting that live pig, milk and other major livestock products had experienced constant price dropping in 2008, and the weak pricing trend is expected to continue in the New Year.
Statistics from the ministry showed that by November 2008, the average pork price had been falling for nine months in a row, down 25.4% compared with its peak in February. Wang said that affected by the international financial crisis, consumers will spend less on livestock products.
On the other hand, in 2008 the number of progenitive sows increased considerably throughout the country, leading to obvious overstock. It is expected that in the first half of 2009 the supply of live pig will sharply rise.
He said if not handled properly, the livestock industry may be seriously hurt by profit losses and lead to a recession in the industry. Sources from the ministry said in 2009 the country will encourage standardised large-scale breeding and the construction of choice-breeding systems, and closely monitor market supply and demand, so as to ensure a steady development of livestock products.
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