China’s pork prices slump on higher supply, falling consumption

China’s pork prices fell sharply last week for the first time in 10 months, as reports of fresh disease outbreaks in the northeast led to more hogs being sent for slaughter just as consumers cut back on pricey meat, analysts said.

Chinese pork prices hit record levels after an epidemic of African swine fever killed millions of pigs in the world’s top pork producer.

Beijing says its herd has shrunk by 41% since a year ago, or almost 200 million pigs, and analysts say pork output will plunge by about a quarter, or 13 million tonnes this year.

Pork prices begin to fall

Pork prices in China have started to decline, and pork production will gradually be restored as supporting policies take effect, the agriculture minister said.

The number of breeding sows began to rise last month, and the number of other pigs decreased at a much slower pace, said Han Changfu, minister of agriculture and rural affairs.

Despite a decrease in pork production, there had been big increases in the production of poultry, beef and mutton this year, which meant the supply of meat could, in general, be assured, Han said at an agricultural forum held in Nanchang, Jiangxi province, on Friday.

BRF mulls acquisitions in Turkey to grow in-country production

BRF SA (BRFS3.SA), the world’s largest chicken exporter, said on Tuesday it would consider acquisitions in Turkey as part of a strategy to increase production there and remain a leading food supplier in the halal world.

Patricio Rohner, vice president of international operations, told a news conference that the company now accounts for about 12% of production in Turkey and aims to grow that to 20%.

He did not provide a timeline for the plans, which were disclosed after a series of presentations conducted by company executives to discuss BRF’s prospects with analysts and investors in São Paulo.

China takes measures to stabilize pork prices

China has taken various measures to ensure pork supply and stabilize pork prices, an official said yesterday.

Governments at all levels have put great emphasis on restoring hog production and have stepped up efforts to increase pork supply, said Liu Aihua, spokesperson for the National Bureau of Statistics.

The country has raised living subsidies to people living in poverty in accordance with the hike in consumer prices, Liu noted, adding that people’s lives will not be affected by soaring pork prices. As policy measures gradually take effect, hog production is expected to recover and pork prices will be stabilized, she said.