Chinese pig herd lifts in June

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

By Bronwyn Magee

The number of pigs in China increased on the month according to figures at the 1 June 2021. The total number of pigs was 266.33 million, an increase of 5% on the previous month. This is the second consecutive month the population has lifted. 

Chinese pig numbers had been on an upward trend since November 2019, a result of recovery efforts following herd losses due to the outbreak of African Swine Fever. However, the emergence of new variants of ASF over winter, and pressure from other diseases such as porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, has since caused numbers to drop back, due to culling in recent months.

The latest figures however suggest herd numbers have since continued to recover. Sow numbers were 8% higher year-on-year in June which suggests herd expansion is likely over coming months as restocking continues.

The outbreak of ASF has previously driven strong Chinese import demand. However, Rabobank anticipate this demand to decline in 2021, driven by recovery in Chinese domestic production. Any re-emergence of ASF however could slow this progress, although the impact of this on herd recovery remains unknown. This will make an interesting watch point in coming months. 

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