China's pork prices soar 74.6 per cent

by 5m Editor
17 July 2007, at 12:20pm

BEIJING - The wholesale price of pork in China surged 74.6 percent in June compared with the same month last year, says the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA).

Although the ministry, has not confirmed the average wholesale price for last month.

The price hikes in feedstuff and the outbreaks of the blue ear disease are mainly blamed for the pork price surge.

According to the MOA, the prices of rice, wheat and corn rose 7.9 percent year-on-year in the first half of the year. Meanwhile,39,455 pigs or 27.5 percent of the pigs that contracted blue ear disease in 586 epidemic areas, had died by July 10.

Blue-ear pig disease (PRRS) remains a severe challenge to China's Yangtze River valley despite the fact that the outbreak has been basically brought under control on the whole, the MOA said on Saturday.

The MOA, the MOC and the National Development and Reform Commission urged local authorities on Monday to ban new corn processing facilities that helped push up the prices of corn.

The three agencies also ordered local officials to ban pork that was injected with water and failed safety tests to enter the market and to eliminate the blue ear disease to ensure pork supply.

The price of pork plummeted in the first half of 2006, prompting pig rearers to slaughter their sows and piglets to avoid further losses.

The nation's pig population stood at 476 million at the end of June, down 0.15 percent from the same period last year.

The pork price will continue to rise in the second half of the year as the supply shortfall can hardly be eased in a short period of time, said Huang Hai, Assistant Minister of Commerce.

"Normally, it will take half a year to complete a pig breeding cycle and make more pork available on markets. That is why it's so difficult to make a turnaround in supply-demand relations," Huang said.

The hikes in pork price, along with other food price rises, have pushed the consumer inflation in May to 3.4 percent, much higher than the target of three percent set by the Chinese government for the whole of 2007.

Further comment on China's pork crisis click here

5m Editor