China produced 8.4 MMT of pork during the third quarter, an 18% year-over-year increase, according to Reuters calculations using official data. This represents the first year-over-year jump in pork production since the third quarter of 2018, before African swine fever hit in August 2018. But the year-to-year comparison was skewed to some degree by the fact that third quarter 2019 production was down 42% from the year prior.
For the first nine months of 2020, China has produced 28.38 MMT of pork, which is a 10.8% retreat from the year prior, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
The bureau also reported the number of breeding sows had jumped 28% to 38.22 million head, which was near pre-ASF levels, numbers questioned by some analysts. The number of pigs slaughtered stood at 361.86 million for the first nine months of the year, which would be an 11.7% decline from the previous year.
Perspective: “In one breath, Chinese agricultural officials in Beijing proclaim a robust recovery of the pork sector, and with the next breath they issue urgent orders to their underlings in the provinces to build more pig farms,” says Dim Sums: Rural China Economics and Policy.