April 8, 2016


China to remain a hot pork market  


China's demand for imported pork is expected to remain strong for some time as Chinese sow numbers continue to fall, with many small farmers stopping production and reluctant to restart.


According to AHDB Pork, shipments to China this year started strongly, with volumes in the first two months up by more than 75% compared with the same period last year.


The pork division of the UK's Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board added that imports from the EU almost doubled, while the unit value was 1% higher than a year earlier, at €1.72 (US$1.96) per kilogramme. "This will be encouraging for EU exporters, including those from the UK, given how important Chinese demand has become since the Russian import ban".


Pig prices in China have also remained high as evidenced by wholesale pork prices, which tend to track pig prices closely.


Over the last two months, wholesale pork prices fluctuated around 25 yuan/kg (£2.70/kg, $3.81), translating into a liveweight pig price of around £2/kg. Prices are now almost 50% higher than a year ago, when they reached a low of around 17 yuan/kg.


According to the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture, the increase in prices were due to the tightening of supplies as Chinese farmers abandoned their businesses following a price drop in late 2014.
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