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China's first half pork output falls 5.5 per cent to 24.7m tonnes
[BEIJING] China produced 24.7 million tonnes of pork in the first six months of 2019, down 5.5 per cent from a year earlier, official data showed on Monday, as producers deal with a severe epidemic of deadly Afrian swine fever.
Output fell as the size of the herd declined 15 per cent from a year ago to 347.61 million head, according to figures from the National Bureau of Statistics. That was down 7.4 per cent from the 375.25 million head it reported at the end of the first quarter.
The number of slaughtered hogs fell 6.2 per cent to 313.46 million head.
The country's hog herd, the world's largest, has been devastated by the epidemic of swine fever, a virus that has swept through China over the last year.
The pace of decline in pork output for the first half was slightly larger than the 5.2 per cent drop reported in the first quarter when the country produced 14.63 million tonnes of pork.
The data also showed output of poultry meat rose 5.6 per cent in the first six months, while beef output increased 2.4 per cent and lamb output rose 1.4 per cent. It did not give volumes for the individual meats.
Beijing has urged poultry producers to boost output to help supplement the fall in pork production.
Total meat output including pork, beef, lamb and poultry fell 2.1 per cent in the first half to 39 million tonnes.