July 31, 2003



Hog Production in China Has Slowed Down in Recent Years


In recent years, the economic output from China's animal production industry has risen to around RMB 800 billion or 31% of the total economic output from the Farming, Forestry, Livestock and Fisheries industries. By direct comparison, the animal production industry is 8.5 times more than Forestry, 2.8 times more than Fisheries, and 0.55 times more than Farming.


In the animal production industry, pork production comprises 66% of all meat produced in China. Pork consumption also accounts for two-thirds of all meat consumed in the country, and was high as 67.8% in Shanghai.


Therefore, production of live hogs and pork has a very important role in the advancement of the agriculture industry and farmers' standard of living as well as meeting the demand from Chinese consumers.


Hog Production Has Slowed Down In Recent Years


Industry people from the major producing-regions confirmed that growth has slowed down in recent years, due to the following reasons:

1.  Compared to other sectors and auxiliary services in the industry, return on investment has been lower considering the higher capital, longer production cycle, higher market risks;


2.  Certain areas were plagued by swine diseases, incurring greater expenses in vaccinations and creating uncertainties;


3.  Pig farmers were discouraged by the heavy taxes on pig production and distribution chain in some major areas;


4.  Other factors such as lower demand from international markets, slower growth in consumption in the domestic market.

For the period May 2001 to February 2003, eight official surveys were conducted in the ten major producing areas, and statistics showed that the number of live pigs increased only in two surveys, and were lower in 6 survey findings. Below are the details:



No of areas in survey

Number of Live Pigs


2001 May




2001 August




2001 November




2002 February




2002 May




2002 August




2002 November




2003 February





Number of Live Pigs In Most Areas Declined In Second Quarter, 2003


As indicated by the latest survey in May 2003, the total number of live pigs on farms in eight major areas was marginally lower at 151,536,000. However, the small declines in most areas were not reflected in the findings due to the weight of Sichuan area which accounted for 37.7% of the total. The number of live pigs in Sichuan had risen by 2.5% to 53,885,000.


The number of sows in the eight major areas fell 1.52% to 12,171,500, weaning pigs were marginally lower at 26,744,300 while growers rose 0.16% to 112,630,200.