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China's pork output falls 5.2 pct in March qtr as virus hits


Reuters


BEIJING, April 17 (Reuters) - China's pork production fell 5.2 percent in the first three months of 2019 from a year earlier to 14.63 million tonnes, official data showed on Wednesday, as African swine fever sweeps through the country's hog herd.

Output fell as the herd, the world's largest, declined by 10.1 percent to 375.25 million head, the National Bureau of Statistics said. The number of slaughtered hogs fell 5.1 percent to 188.42 million head.

China, which accounts for about half of global pork output, could see its production of the country's most popular meat fall by around 30 percent this year because of African swine fever, analysts said last week.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said last week that China's sow herd dropped 21 percent in March from the same period a year earlier.

Up to 200 million pigs could be culled or die from being infected by the disease this year, Rabobank has estimated, triggering a surge in imports of pork and other meats.

Wholesale pork prices are about 20 percent higher this month than a year ago at around 20.3 yuan($3.03) per kg, according to weekly data published by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

Higher pork prices pushed March consumer inflation to its highest since October 2018, data showed last week.

The statistics bureau data also showed total output of meat, including beef, lamb and poultry, fell 2.8 percent in the quarter to 22.52 million tonnes.






This article appears in: Politics , World Markets , Commodities




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