… “Some are unable to continue breeding due to huge losses while some have begun to cull breeding sows,” Pan Chenjun, a senior analyst with Rabobank in Hong Kong, said in an interview. It’s not just smaller farms like Fu’s which are under pressure. Larger farms may also scale back restocking… Pork prices have been hammered as farms increase slaughtering to avoid contamination, bolstering supply. By the middle of December, prices in northeast provinces had fallen 31 percent from a year earlier and 15 percent in the north… the reduction in restocking could help prices turn around in the second half of the year as supply becomes constrained, according to Zhu Zengyong, a researcher at the Agriculture Information Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. It could also lead to an increase in pork purchases from overseas…

 

 

The Year of the Pig Will Be a Pig of a Year for China's Hogs

 

    Farmers may not replenish herds they can’t sell their pigs

    Failure to restock is forecast to prompt surge in imports

 

Bloomberg News

January 10, 2019

 

It’s the time of year when Fu Haisheng should be thinking about restocking his herd of hogs.

 

With China’s Lunar New Year holiday just weeks away, the farmer from Heilongjiang province would normally have sold most of his pigs to meet a surge in pork demand during the 15 days of feasts and festivities. His focus would now be on replenishing the stock.

 

But this isn’t a normal year in the world’s top pork-consuming country. Restrictions to stop the spread of African swine fever mean Fu’s collective farm has sold none of its 20,000 hogs. Once they’ve eventually been hawked at a discount or slaughtered, he says the farm may not replenish any at all.

 

It’s a predicament repeated across north and northeastern provinces, China’s pork-producing heartland. With some estimates that farms could cut back restocking by as much as 20 percent, the country will need to buy more from overseas, setting up for a turbulent Year of the Pig for the $128 billion industry.

 

“The risk of restocking is too high as long as African swine fever is around,” Fu said by phone from his farm. “Our hogs used to be sold to the south, now no hogs are allowed outside the province.”

 

The government is trying to contain the deadly disease, which began spreading in August and has so far been detected in at least 23 provinces, with Guangdong one of the latest hit. More than 600,000 pigs have been culled across the country, which slaughters about 700 million hogs a year.

 

Restricted Movement ...

 

‘Huge Loss’

 

“Some are unable to continue breeding due to huge losses while some have begun to cull breeding sows,” Pan Chenjun, a senior analyst with Rabobank in Hong Kong, said in an interview. It’s not just smaller farms like Fu’s which are under pressure. Larger farms may also scale back restocking, Pan said.

 

Pork prices have been hammered as farms increase slaughtering to avoid contamination, bolstering supply. By the middle of December, prices in northeast provinces had fallen 31 percent from a year earlier and 15 percent in the north, according to data published by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

 

One of the country’s major hog breeders, Henan province’s Muyuan Foodstuff Co. said in a filing this week that 2018 net profit could drop by as much as 79 percent after the disease interrupted transport of live hogs from major producing regions. Wens Foodstuffs Group Co., another top pig breeder, said profit may shrink about 41 percent.

 

But the reduction in restocking could help prices turn around in the second half of the year as supply becomes constrained, according to Zhu Zengyong, a researcher at the Agriculture Information Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. It could also lead to an increase in pork purchases from overseas, according to both Zhu and Pan.

 

The China Meat Association agrees... 

 

more, including links, map, chart 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-10/the-year-of-the-pig-will-be-a-pig-of-a-year-for-china-s-hogs