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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

Adequate Pork Supplies to be Available in China During the Lunar New Year


The Lunar New Year in China, beginning February 11, 2021, is marked by high pork demand. It is questioned whether collectively depleted inventories of frozen pork, domestic production and imports will be adequate to meet demand.


The USDA estimates that domestic production fell from 55 million metric tons in 2017 to 37 million metric tons in 2020 due to African swine fever. China will import 3.7 million metric tons of pork in 2020 with about 65 percent supplied by the EU. Availability will be in the region of 62 lbs. per capita.


As predicted since the beginning of 2020, there has been a shift in production from small family-operated units to larger farms.  This has facilitated biosecurity and reduced the need for extensive transport of live hogs.


Dr. Chen Guang Hua, Deputy Director of the Veterinary Bureau of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, has suggested that availability of pork will be higher in 2021 than in 2020.  Commencing late 2018 and extending through 2019, almost 40 percent of the hog population was lost to African Swine Fever.  By imposing strict quarantines and biosecurity measures, herds have been rebuilt with breeding sows at 85 percent of 2017 levels and growing hogs at 84 percent of the complement in 2017.


The deficit in domestic production  increased the retail price of pork from $1.56 per lb. in December 2018 to $3.25 per lb. in December 2020 creating questions as to the extent to which the domestic pork industry has actually recovered. 

Copyright © 2020 Simon M. Shane