February 14, 2020


China pork prices surge 116% in January



Pork prices in China surged 116% in January year-on-year after almost doubling during the previous month, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed, Bloomberg News reported. This substantial price hike occurred with the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (nCoV) in China.


In January wholesale prices were just 4% below their record high in November.


Lin Guofa, senior analyst at Bric Agriculture Group, a Beijing-based farm consulting firm, said pork prices are expected to "stay robust", at least in the first half of 2020 as the number of hogs decreased before the new year.


The nCoV attack has also upset the restocking at some pig and chicken farms, but may support pork prices due to its negative impact on the poultry business, Lin said, as per report.


Meanwhile, some hatcheries in major poultry breeding provinces such as Shandong and Henan have resorted to killing chicks as the birds could not be moved due to roadblocks imposed to stop the spread of nCoV, said Li Qiang, head of Shanghai JC Intelligence Co., according to the report. 


He said restocking of chickens could be affected in the first half of the year with the drop in the domestic poultry output.


The woes of the poultry sector has been aggravated by the recent outbreak of the highly pathogenic strain of bird flu, H5N1. Chinese consumers often substitute pork with poultry meat.