Adds detail from report, background
BEIJING, March 27 (Reuters) - China's sow herd increased by 1.7% in February compared with a year earlier, 5% more than the targeted capacity, state media said on Monday.
The herd reached 43.4 million sows, said China Central Television (CCTV), citing data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA), although it contracted by 0.6% compared with the prior month.
Hog prices in the world's largest pork consuming country have hovered around 15 yuan ($2.18) per kilogram since late last year, pressured by weak demand and excess supply.
With the low hog prices, the average loss for a hog is about 100 yuan ($14.52) currently, according to CCTV.
"(It's) not very likely to see a significant rise in pig price in coming months," Xin Guochang, deputy director of the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Bureau of MARA, told CCTV.
Hog farm managers and analysts said earlier this month that a surge in African swine fever infections in China would lead to a reduction in hog production later this year, pushing up prices in China as demand recovers.
($1 = 6.8680 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Qin Ningwei and Dominique Patton; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Louise Heavens)
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