BUSINESS China issues alert on hog price slump

BUSINESS

China issues alert on hog price slump

Xinhua

12:40, June 16, 2021

A staff member checks a pig's condition at a pig farm in Zhongjiang County, Southwest China's Sichuan Province, Nov. 28, 2019. (File photo: Xinhua)

BEIJING, June 16 (Xinhua) -- China's top economic planner on Wednesday issued a third-level warning for an excessive slump in hog prices, alerting pig farmers to adjust their plans to stabilize supplies.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said increasing hog supplies and pork imports, as well as retreating seasonal demand, have combined to drive down hog prices.

The commission pledged to closely monitor price fluctuations and adjust reserves to ensure stable operation in the hog market.

Since 2021, hog prices have trended down for several consecutive months. Data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed that hog prices went down 11.2 percent in early June compared with late May.

The third-level alert is the lowest in the newly-introduced warning system to alarm excessive ups and downs in hog prices.

Chinese authorities last week released a work plan to improve the mechanism for adjusting pork reserves as part of efforts to stabilize the market as it has seen frequent fluctuations.

The plan, released by several government organs including the NDRC, detailed multiple measures to avoid drastic movements in the pork market, with more indicators added for timely warnings of market changes.

While cyclical fluctuations of pork supply and prices are a worldwide phenomenon, such volatilities are especially high in China, partly because the majority of the country's pigs are produced on family farms.

After the African swine fever dealt a heavy blow to hog production and pork prices since 2018, authorities have taken a slew of efforts, including handing out subsidies to encourage scale farming, to stabilize prices of the staple meat in China.

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