China pork reserves

Beijing’s chief economic planner said Tuesday that Chinese officials could immerse themselves in strategic pork reserves to keep key meat prices down. According to the state-run Xinhua News Agency, the price of pork in the world’s second-largest economy, soared at the end of last month. Market supply was sluggish, resulting in meat selling 32% higher than in June 2021.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a social media statement that the increase was due to “irrational behavior such as blind stockpiling and resistance to selling in the live pig market.” The NDRC said the restraint was aimed at increasing profits, ordered major suppliers to slaughter pigs at a “normal pace” and warned against hoarding, Xinhua said. On Tuesday, the Commission added, “We are considering declassifying central pork reserves.” He also ordered local governments to release supplies “at the right time” to protect them from sharp price increases.

China has largely escaped the effects of the global surge in food prices caused by the Russian war in Ukraine. However, in recent years, after the African swine fever struck the country’s herd, pork prices have been hit hard and consumer inflation has skyrocketed. In 2019, authorities announced that they would release land to return classical swine fever production to pre-classical swine fever levels. Authorities then released inventory from stockpiles to stop rising costs. “As pig farming prices continue to rise, pig farmers are turning losses into profits. Farmers are currently making a profit of about 60 yuan (about US $ 9) per person,” Wang Zuli, a pig expert from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, said in an interview with state broadcaster CCTV in June. “It can be said that the darkest times for pig farmers are over,” Wang said, adding that pork inventories are expected to increase.

Also read: Chinese pork farms boom bust cycle


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