China's sow herd rises for second straight month

By end-June it was at 42.77 million head
calendar icon 20 July 2022
clock icon 2 minute read

China's sow herd at the end of June rose for the second consecutive month, as farmers increased production amid rising pig prices, reported Reuters.

The sow herd at the end of June was at 42.77 million head, said Zeng Yande, chief agronomist and director of the development planning department at China's agriculture ministry.

The figure was a 2% monthly increase from 41.92 million reported at the end of May, but down 6.3% from a year earlier, according to Reuters' calculations. China's end-May sow herd saw its first monthly increase in a year.

China's pig herd had been contracting in the past year, as falling hog margins pushed some farmers to exit the market. Rising pig prices lately, however, have boosted production.

China's state planner had earlier urged the country's top hog breeders to ensure steady supplies after prices surged since May. Pork is the most widely eaten meat in China, and its prices are a key component of the country's consumer inflation index.

Current live hog production is at a "normal and reasonable" level, said Chen Guanghua, an official at the ministry's husbandry and veterinary bureau, estimating that the number of pigs sold in the second half of this year will be equal to the corresponding period last year.

"Live hog and pork production will increase steadily in July and August ... the supply of large hogs is guaranteed in the second half of the year," Chen said.

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