Downward trend for China’s pork prices obvious: executive

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With more non-agricultural enterprises from internet giants to property developers eagerly moving into the pig farming industry, pork oversupply might occur in the next two years and the downward trend for pork prices is clear in China, a senior executive said Monday.

However, this year will still see high pork prices due to the shortage of supply caused by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as African swine fever (ASF), Liu Yonghao, chairman of China’s agricultural conglomerate New Hope Group, told reporters on Monday.

China has made advances in containing ASF as no major regional outbreak of the disease has occurred since August 2018 when the first case was confirmed in Northeast China’s Liaoning Province, said Han Changfu, minister of agriculture and rural affairs.

Hog production recovery has gained momentum, as the number of breeding sows in stock has continued to expand in the past three months and the prices of live pigs kept retreating for 12 consecutive weeks, Han said on May 12.

Liu estimated that hog production would climb steadily starting next year as more players are making forays into the sector, which will help enhance the standard of pig breeding.

Chinese property developer Vanke announced on May 7 it would recruit people for several positions including veterinarians, pig farm managers and construction application specialists, a move seen as the developer’s entry into the agricultural sector, following its peers like Evergrande.

Such trans-sector behavior is not uncommon in China, as e-commerce giants including Alibaba, NetEase, and, have also diversified into pig farming.

“Overcapacity is also likely to occur, probably leading to a drop in pork prices in 2022,” said Liu.

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