December 5, 2008


China hog output likely stable in 2009 to prevent price tumble



China's hog production is likely to be comparatively stable in 2009, and the government has drawn up plans to prevent a tumble in pork prices, a government official said Friday (December 5).


The increasing trend of large-scale hog farming rather than small numbers of hogs raised in people's backyards will help the sector to be more risk-resistant, Zhao Jianhua, deputy chief of the Rural Society Economic Research Department under the National Bureau of Statistics, said during an interview on the state-run Xinhua News Agency's Web site.


Feedmeal prices are also likely to be stable or even lower in the near term, along with tumbling global grain prices and China's bumper grain harvest, said Zhao.


Increasing domestic supply has pushed pork's wholesale prices lower by 24 percent since early February, when they were at a high of nearly RMB23 a kilogram due to tight supply since 2007 on blue ear disease, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce.


China's pork output in the first three quarters totalled 32 million tonnes, up 5.9 percent on year, while the hog population by the end of September rose 6.6 percent on year to 456 million, Zhao said.


Pork output in the fourth quarter will be back to a high level, he added.


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