Meat & Livestock News

China Sets New Record in Pork Production Amidst Market Challenges

In a significant development for the agricultural sector, China has reported an unprecedented level of pork production in 2023. Official figures released on Wednesday indicate that the country produced 57.94 million metric tons of pork last year, marking a 4.6% increase from 2022.

This record-breaking production was primarily fueled by heightened slaughter activities in the year’s final quarter. Farmers escalated their operations to address the dual challenges of pig oversupply and the persistent African Swine Fever outbreak, as per a Reuters report.

The last quarter of 2023 alone witnessed pork production reaching 14.93 million tons, a 7% rise from the corresponding period in the previous year. Leading hog breeders like Muyuan Foods Co. and Wen’s Foodstuff Group Co. experienced a notable surge in sales during this period. Muyuan, for instance, sold 6.6 million hogs in December, a substantial 25% increase from their November sales.

Contrary to the usual uptick in pork demand during the winter and the Chinese New Year, the national pig herd saw a 4.1% reduction, bringing the total to 434.22 million heads in 2023.

This domestic production boom has impacted China’s import patterns, particularly concerning U.S. pork. U.S. exports to China witnessed a 4% decrease, amounting to 466,511 metric tons. The U.S. Meat Export Federation attributes this decline to China’s increased production and stock, alongside subdued consumer demand.

In addition to pork, China also recorded growth in other meat sectors. Beef production rose by 4.8% to 7.53 million tons, poultry output increased by 4.9% to 25.63 million tons, and lamb/mutton production saw a 1.3% increase, reaching 5.31 million tons.