Chinese hog farmers are suffering from an overabundance of supply.

China Central Television reported a jump in the nation’s year-over-year swine population in February to 43.4 million sows, about 5% higher than China's targeted capacity.

Given the excess hog supply in the world’s largest pork-consuming country, Chinese hog prices have hovered around 15 yuan — around $2.18 per kilogram — since late 2022. The trend is supported by weak demand and an overabundance of supply.

The average loss for a hog now is about 100 yuan, or $14.52, according to CCTV. 

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the People’s Republic of China (MARA) met last week to discuss measures to stabilize production, with Vice Minister Ma Youxiang stating “hog production is generally stable and the breeding performance of the herd matrices remains at a reasonable range.” 

He said the abundant supply has caused a “cyclical downturn” in the pork market, made worse by recently surging prices for raw feed materials.

Hog producers "are loss facing a difficult situation,” Ma said.

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Earlier this month, analysts and hog farm managers said a surge in African Swine Fever infections in the country would reduce the hog population later this year. The effects would likely stabilize the market as prices increase in conjunction with recovering demand. 

The MARA outlined five steps during the meeting to secure stable and healthy hog production: Enhance monitoring and early warning in the supply chain, encourage increased lending from financial institutions, provide long-term support for policies providing land to hog farming and environmental protection, implement favorable policies for hog production and frozen pork reserves, and continue to control ASF.

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