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

China Releases Pork from Strategic Reserve


Sharp escalation in the price of pork in China has occurred during the past three months.  An increase of 25.6 percent was recorded in July followed by 14.8 percent in June and 22.5 percent in August.  Food inflation more than doubled from 2.9 percent during the month of June to 6.1 percent in August. Concurrently the nationwide consumer price index remains at a moderate 2.5 percent.

Pork consumption has increased progressively since 1990 with an annual per capita value of 33 lb. to a maximum of 72 lb. in 2014. The emergence of African swine fever in 2019 reduced the availability of pork and consumption fell to 54 lb. per capita in 2019 remaining at about 52 lb. through 2021 despite recovery of the breeding and growing herds.  Total consumption of pork in China attained 40.3 million metric tons in 2020 according to USDA data.  There is now adequate production capacity with 2.1 million hogs slaughtered during the first six months of 2022 according to an official government agency. Greater availability of pork will reduce imports and impact demand and margins for domestic and imported chicken


In advance of the 20th National Meeting of the Chinese Communist Party beginning October 16th, authorities have released pork from the national reserve in an attempt to reduce retail prices and avert criticism of the central government.  Increased availability of pork was especially necessary during the mid-autumn festival and for events leading to the Meeting. It is anticipated that the 2,300 delegates attending will reappoint President Xi to an unprecedented third term.


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