December 19, 2011


Zhongpin runs trial production at Jiangsu, Jilin pork plants


Chinese meat and food processor Zhongpin Inc on Friday (Dec 16) started trial production at its two chilled and frozen pork products plants in Jiangsu and Jilin provinces.


The annual production capacity for the Taizhou, Jiangsu-based plant, which is in its first phase, is about 80,000 tonnes of chilled and easy-to-cook pork products and 20,000 tonnes of frozen pork.


The company invested about US$63 million in the Jiangsu production facility, warehouse, and distribution centre, which began construction in September 2010. Phase-two construction is slated to finish in the third quarter of 2012, producing 30,000 tonnes of prepared pork products annually.


Zhongpin's Changchun, Jilin-based plant, which is also in its first phase, has an annual production capacity of 70,000 tonnes of chilled pork and 25,000 tonnes of frozen pork.


The company invested about US$61.5 million in a slaughtering and processing plant, a low-temperature prepared pork plant, a logistics centre and an R&D centre in Jilin. Construction began in September 2010.


Phase two of the Jilin plant will include an annual production capacity of about 30,000 tonnes of prepared pork products and an R&D centre, which are expected to open in the third quarter of 2012.


Meanwhile, the plant for chilled and frozen pork with a capacity of 30,000 tonnes, leased by Zhongpin in Gongzhuling, Jilin province, will cease operations. This facility has been leased by Zhongpin on a three-year contract since December 2008.


Including the Jiangsu and Jilin plants, Zhongpin will have an annual capacity for 728,760 tonnes of chilled and frozen pork, 126,000 tonnes of prepared pork products, 20,000 tonnes of pork oil, and 30,000 tonnes of vegetables and fruits, for a total annual capacity of 904,760 tonnes.


Xianfu Zhu, chairman and CEO of Zhongpin Inc, said, "With our two newest plants for chilled and frozen pork opening on December 16, we will increase our annual capacity for chilled and frozen pork by 29.3% and our total annual production capacity for all products by 26.4%.


"As with our other recent expansions, we already sell into those markets from our existing facilities, so we have good market acceptance and growth potential in both the Jilin province in northeast China and in the Jiangsu province in southeast China near Shanghai.


"Given our good market acceptance, plus our cold-chain distribution system that already serves those markets, we expect a rapid increase in volume for both plants, because their openings are timed to capture a good share of the peak pork season during the Chinese Lunar New Year that runs from January 23 through to February 8, 2012."

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