Another surge this month leaves China's hog price at about the same as the record-highs posted a year ago--despite the Ministry of Agriculture's claim that the country's swine inventory has rebounded faster than expected and is now at 90 percent of normal.
The average hog price reported by China's National Bureau of Statistics for mid-December 2020 was 33.9 yuan per kg., just slightly below the average of 34.2 yuan/kg the Bureau reported for the same time period in 2019. Soozhu.com reports a further increase in the hog price to 35.40 yuan/kg on December 30, 2020. Prices were about 10-to-15 yuan/kg. before the surge in prices in mid-2019.
|Data from National Bureau of Statistics average purchase prices for industrial materials.|
|Data from China Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs average wholesale market livestock prices.|
|Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs reports of average wholesale prices.|
|Commentaries warn about falling hog prices next year, |
following this year's aggressive expansion
|Calculated from China Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs wholesale price data.|
The industry may have to learn how to live with imported pork. The slaughter commentary noted that margins and shipment volume for slaughter enterprises are restrained by pressure from "frozen meat"--code for imports. China's pork reserve auctioned a total of 50,000 metric tons of frozen imported pork on December 24 and 28.
Sichuan Province--traditionally China's largest pork producer--now has a pork supply deficit and relatively high prices and slaughter margins. Selling pork to Sichuan was once like "shipping coal to Newcastle." Now, according to the commentary, carcasses produced in Sichuan are sold locally at high prices, while low-priced cuts are shipped into the province to fill the deficit.