Pork prices in China, the world’s biggest producer and consumer of the meat, could hit new records later this year, as the nationwide outbreak of African swine fever leads to the fastest decline of live pigs in a decade, warned senior government officials, reported Caixin.
Describing the situation as “grave,” Wang Junxun, a deputy chief of the Ministry of Agriculture’s veterinary bureau, said a total of 129 outbreaks have been recorded in the country since August, with 30 taking place in the past four months.
Wang added that the stock of live pigs slumped 18.8% in March from a year ago while the number of sows dropped 21%.. He projected the price of live pigs will hit record highs in the fourth quarter.
The decline in the number of live pigs has exceeded 10% year-on-year for three straight months, while the output of pork dropped 5.2% compared to last year, to 14.6 million tons in the first quarter of the year, said Wei Baigang, head of the Department of Development Planning of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.
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