China's Q2 pork output highest in a decade

Pork output rose 4.6%
calendar icon 17 July 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

China's second-quarter pork output rose 4.6% from a year earlier to 14.4 million metric tons, the highest in at least a decade for the period, Reuters calculations based on official data showed, as farmers raised more pigs on hopes of better demand.

The second quarter is normally the period with the lowest pork production, as it follows a surge in slaughter for China's Lunar New Year holidays in January and February.

But this year, supply has been abundant with the herd larger than a year earlier, even as demand is under pressure due to slow economic growth.

China consumes about half of the world's pork.

Some hog breeders expanded their herds last year, adding to the large increase the prior year, as they sought to grab market share in a rapidly consolidating market.

But with this year's weak prices, some farmers began to reduce herds in the second quarter, boosting slaughter volumes.

Hog prices have hovered around 15 yuan ($2.10) per kg for most of this year, well below average production costs of 18 yuan per kg.

In June, prices fell below 14 yuan, as record temperatures across much of the country further reduced appetite for meat.

China's pork output in the first half of the year rose 3.2% from a year earlier to 30.3 million metric tons, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

China slaughtered 375.48 million hogs in the first six months of the year, up 2.6% from a year ago, while the pig herd also rose to 435.17 million in the second quarter from 430.94 million heads in the previous quarter, the data showed.

Data from China's agriculture ministry shows the country's sow herd at the end of May was 1.6% higher than a year ago.

However, large producers have said in recent months they will reduce output in the second half.

"They started to reduce production capacity this year after suffering losses for several months," said Rosa Wang, an analyst at Shanghai JC Intelligence Co Ltd.

China Q2 pork output highest for the quarter in at least 10 years China Q2 pork output highest for the quarter in at least 10 years

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