A swift decline in pork prices has incentivized Chinese pig farmers to send more hogs to slaughter. The country’s pork production increased 2.1 percent, year-over-year, in Q1 of 2018 to 15.4 million tonnes. A shift towardslarger, more industrialized hog farms in response to high production costs has increased output, dropping prices by nearly 30 percent in Q1. Many farmers are worried that prices will face greater pressure in the future and are therefore sending more pigs to slaughter, decreasing the country’s herd size 1.2 percent to 415.2 million head of swine. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) forecast Chinese pork production will rise 2.3 percent in 2018 to almost 55 million tonnes, while imports will drop 5.8 percent to 1.5 million tonnes.
China accounts for roughly half of the global swine herd and over half of all pork produced. Yet Chinese domestic demand is so high that the country still has to import a large volume of product. Shifts in Chinese pork production will have global market implications, and Gro Intelligence subscribers can utilize a breadth of data to stay up-to-date with ongoing pork industry developments.