China hog sector sending mixed signals


China hog sector sending mixed signals

China’s hog industry continues to send mixed signals as the country tries to recover from African swine fever. 

Livestock economist Steve Meyer with Partners for Production Agriculture suggests its almost impossible to know how successful China has been at controlling ASF and rebuilding domestic hog inventories.

“On the one hand we think, ‘well they lost all those pigs and are still rebuilding.’ But their prices have been extremely low for the last six months (and) they’ve been losing a lot of money. That sounds like a business that has way too many pigs.”

He tells Brownfield it’s safe to assume pork demand in China is not very good and he’s concerned some of the damage might be permanent.

“I find it hard to believe hardly any of their numbers coming out of their Ministry of Agriculture, so I don’t know that we know what’s going on there. But I do know that 1.3 billion times any number is a great big number, so they are very important.”

Meyer hopes China gets back into the international market soon, but he says it won’t happen while domestic pork prices are this low.

Brownfield interviewed Meyer at the World Pork Expo in Des Moines Wednesday.