China: Predictions unstable as pig surplus grows
China's pork market might undergo dramatic fluctuations
next year because of a growing pig surplus, a senior agriculture official said
The comments by Wang Zhicai, the Ministry
of Agriculture's livestock husbandry division director, came at a time when the
tight pork supply is easing after weathering months of skyrocketing prices
following the blue ear
outbreak in the pig population last
While the pig population's rapid increase might lead to surplus
pork supplies, rising feedstuff costs might diminish the industry's
profitability. Without the adoption of proper measures, this might lead to a new
wave of market fluctuations," Wang said.
China's pork prices had almost
doubled since last summer because of rising costs, shrinking supplies and blue
ear's spread. But the country's pig supply levels have rebounded through
government subsidies, lowering pork prices.
Industry statistics show
there were about 470 million pigs in the first half of the year, about a 10
percent increase over the same period of 2007.Market
Beijing-based market analyst Yi Mingqi believed the pork
market would be saturated by the end of the year. Yi predicted prices would
spike around Spring Festival before hitting a low point in the second season of
The ministry said pig farmers could currently make a profit of 160
yuan per 100 kg on average - less than half the 400 yuan they could earn at the
peak season at the end of 2007.
China consumes an average of about 50
million tons of pork annually but only consumed 42 million tons last year due to
the shortage. The figure is expected to be 46 million this year.Click here for the free Pig
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