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China forecasts CNY pork supplies to be 30% higher


PORK supplies during the upcoming Chinese New Year (CNY) holiday in China, the world's top consumer, will be 30 per cent higher than a year ago, an agriculture official said on Wednesday, after significant efforts to rebuild a depleted hog herd.

The recovery of pig production, in addition to large pork imports and changes in consumer demand, would boost pork supplies by about 30 per cent year-on-year, reducing prices compared with last year, said Chen Guanghua, the deputy director of the veterinary bureau of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, during a media briefing.

The CNY holiday is the nation's most important and pork is traditionally served at meals during reunion dinners when millions of families across the country congregate. It will begin on the evening of Feb 11, 2021.

Pig producers have built 12,500 new large-scale pig farms in the first three quarters of the year and restarted more than 13,000 empty farms, Wei Baigang, the head of the development and planning division of the ministry, said at the briefing.

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Mr Wei said the recovery of the hog herd had been "better than expected" after African swine fever wiped out at least 40 per cent of China's pigs in 2019. China's agriculture ministry had set a goal last year of restoring the herd to 80 per cent of normal levels by the end of 2020.

Through September, pig stocks were 370 million, or 84 per cent of the level in 2017, before the disease hit, said Mr Wei, while breeding sows reached 38.22 million, or 86 per cent of 2017 levels. Pork prices have fallen for seven consecutive weeks as more pigs are slaughtered, added Mr Wei, dropping to 50.56 yuan (S$10.3) per kg. REUTERS

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