China pork estimates hard to gauge

Previous to the African swine fever outbreak, China produced roughly half of all the pigs in the world.


By Barb Glen, The Western Producer (Canada)

February 12, 2021


China’s claims that it has regained 90 percent of the hog production lost during an outbreak of African swine fever are not gaining traction among North American hog and livestock market analysts.


Through disease losses followed by precautionary slaughter beginning in 2018, China is thought to have lost more than 40 percent of its herd, or more than 400 million animals. Previous to the disease outbreak, the country produced roughly half of all the pigs in the world.


Through culling, vaccination and efforts to industrialize production, Chinese officials say the herd has almost recovered from pre-ASF levels.


“I don’t think everybody necessarily trusts that, though,” said Rob Murphy, executive vice-president of research and analysis with J.S. Ferraro.


He said domestic hog prices in China remain high and that tells a different story...