Meat & Livestock News

China’s New Direction in Pork Production: Impacts Stretch Beyond Borders

China is changing its tune on pork production. After a period of encouraging high output, the government is now advising farmers to dial it back, as reported by Channel News Asia. This shift comes amid an oversupply that’s driving pork prices down, hitting farmers’ earnings.

Agriculture ministry officials in China have highlighted the issue, noting the current oversupply is unsustainable and detrimental to producers. In 2023, farmers faced significant financial challenges, selling 58 million metric tons of pork but at an average loss of 76 yuan (around US$10.60) per animal.

This increase in domestic pork production last year also led to a decrease in China’s imports of U.S. pork, by about 4%.

The supply of pork in China is already showing signs of decline, with a reduction of 2.5 million heads by the end of last year. However, it is expected that it will take the remainder of this year for the supply to fully recalibrate.

This pivot in China’s pork production strategy is likely to have wider implications, particularly for the feed supply chain. Soybean farmers, in particular, may feel the impact as the demand for feed could decrease in line with the reduced pork production.