China’s resumption of pig production sees positive outcomes
Published: Oct 11, 2020 12:29 PM

An owner of a hog farm in Qiongjie county, Shannan, Tibet autonomous region, vaccinates a piglet on April 21, 2020. Photo:Xinhua

Despite the fallout from the pandemic that disrupted pig production and associated supply chains in the early part of the year, the industry is now on track for a speedy recovery. The stock of pigs and fertile sows nationwide has returned to over 80 percent of normal levels, with levels of large-scale pig breeding having increased to 53 percent, according to the agriculture and rural affairs ministry, a positive message to the pig industry.

Positive results have been achieved in promoting the resumption and development of pig production and the recovery of domestic pig production will be further consolidated, authorities announced at a meeting for the promotion of pig production resumption held by the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Ministry on Saturday.

Previously, it had been suggested that domestic demand for pork is increasingly outpacing supply against the backdrop of the pandemic, with African swine fever causing concern over meat shortages in the market as consumption picks up in the post pandemic era.

During the eight-day National Day holiday, pork prices dropped 1 percent compared with the previous week. 

Yang Zhenhai, director general of the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Bureau of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, noted in a media interview that under current market conditions and the policy impetus, the enthusiasm of pig farmers to supplement their stalls and breed pigs has grown substantially since the beginning of this year, and pig production has recovered quickly as a result.

"We are confident that the pig production capacity for the whole year will essentially be restored to close to a normal year," said Yang.

Although the situation is improving as implementation of these policies is gradually taking effect, the supply chain is still facing great challenges.

Tao Yishan, chairman of pig farming and meat processing firm Tangrenshen Group, told in early September that China's pig farming capacity including capacity under construction could reach 2 billion heads per year, in contrast with pig consumption of 650 million heads per year, meaning that the hog industry would face overcapacity or "a disaster." 

The resumption of pig production is now entering the most crucial time of the year with corresponding measures to be put in place in order to ensure sustainable growth, according to discussions during Saturday's meeting. 

Supportive policies such as the distribution of financial support for farmers, enriching frozen pork reserves and increasing the supply of pork substitutes will be further implemented.

In addition, measures for the prevention and control of African swine fever will be normalized in a bid to reduce the risks of a potential rebound.

The boost in the modernization of pig production and the supply chain process was also on the agenda.