China pork output recovers sharply in 2020, down 3.3% year-on-year – stats bureau

China’s pork output fell in 2020, but recovered sharply from the year before as government support and industry investment helped revive a sector ravaged by disease in 2019, official data showed on Monday.

China’s 2020 pork output fell 3.3% from a year earlier to 41.13 million tonnes after plunging 21% in 2019, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

The incurable hog disease African swine fever swept across the world’s top pork producer from mid-2018 onwards, reducing the breeding stock by an estimated 60% a year later.

But strong policy support and incentives unleashed in the third quarter of 2019 have triggered huge investment in the rebuilding of the herd, with more than 200 billion yuan ($30.87 billion) pumped into new farms..

China slaughtered 527.04 million hogs in 2020, the data showed, down 3.2% from the same period a year earlier. Output in the final quarter of 2020 jumped to 13 million tonnes, according to Reuters calculations based on the data, up 21% on the same quarter a year ago when it produced 10.74 million tonnes.

It also surged from the 8.4 million tonnes in the third quarter. China’s pig herd rose to 406.5 million heads at the end of December, from 370.39 million at the end of September.