China’s pig herd has declined by over 35 percent compared to figures from August 2018

China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs has reported another record drop in China’s pig herd, further highlighting the impact of the African swine fever epidemic.

16 September 2019, at 1:27pm

According to reporting from Reuters, recent data from China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs has shown a 38.7 percent decline in China’s pig herd. The drop, which is larger than the 32.3 percent fall in July, comes after the ASF epidemic spread to every province in mainland China.

Pork prices are skyrocketing as a result of the shrinking herd. According to agricultural ministry data, retail prices have reached over $5 per kg on 4 September – a 78 percent increase compared to the same time in 2018.

In response to these economic shocks, Beijing has enacted a series of policies to encourage farmers to increase production. This will ensure that pork supplies can recover quickly. The government is also planning to release frozen pork from reserves to help stabilise supplies and prices.

Speaking to reporters at a briefing last week, Vice Agriculture Minister Yu Kangzhen said the African swine fever situation is still “severe”.

Many in the industry believe the impact on the herd is much larger than official data suggest.

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