The production capacity of live pigs has recovered significantly, and the market supply is sufficient——

Meat prices have fallen for nine consecutive weeks

  Our reporter Huang Junyi

  Recently, the price of pigs, which has performed well in the past two years, has continued to fall, which has become a significant trend in urban and rural vegetable markets this year.

At present, whether pork prices have entered a new cycle of decline?

How can we avoid the repeated "pig cycle"?

The reporter interviewed relevant experts.

Fell more than 20% year-on-year

  On March 30, the average wholesale price of white striped pigs at the Beijing Xinfadi Agricultural Products Wholesale Market was 29.5 yuan/kg, a significant drop of 8.53% from the 32.25 yuan/kg on March 1.

  "The national live pig and pork prices have fallen for 9 consecutive weeks, and the price of pork in March showed an expanding trend." Zhu Zengyong, an associate researcher at the Beijing Institute of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medicine, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, said in an interview with a reporter from the Economic Daily.

  From the perspective of weekly prices, in the 500 bazaars monitored by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the price of live pigs was 36.01 yuan/kg in the third week of January 2021, began to fall in the fourth week of January, and fell to 27.46 yuan in the fourth week of March. /Kg, down 3.7% month-on-month, down 24.1% year-on-year, and a cumulative decrease of 23.7%.

  The wholesale price of white striped pigs monitored by the Ministry of Commerce rose to 47.47 yuan/kg in the third week of January, and then fell slightly for 8 consecutive weeks. In the third week of March (March 19), it was 36.80 yuan/kg, down 2.3% from the previous month. A year-on-year decrease of 24.2%, a cumulative decrease of 22.5%.

  The data of 500 bazaars monitored by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs show that pork prices have fallen for 9 consecutive weeks after rising to 54.22 yuan/kg in the third week of January 2021 and 44.09 yuan/kg in the fourth week of March, a month-on-month decrease. 2.6%, a decrease of 22.5% year-on-year, and a cumulative decrease of 18.7%.

  "Last week, the average wholesale price of white striped pigs in Xinfadi market in Beijing remained stable, with small fluctuations, and the price fell slightly during the weekend." said Liu Tong, manager of the statistics department of Beijing Xinfadi agricultural product wholesale market.

  Zhu Zengyong told reporters that compared with major sales areas such as Beijing, the price drop in major pig production areas has been more pronounced.

From the perspective of different regions, since the third week of January, pig prices in the Northeast and Central China have fallen sharply, with a cumulative drop of 9.79 yuan/kg and 9.66 yuan/kg respectively. The Northwest region has the smallest drop, with a decrease of 7.14 yuan/kg.

  From the perspective of different provinces, the price of live pigs in Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Shandong, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Shaanxi, Hainan and other places have fallen sharply, with a cumulative decline of more than 9 yuan/kg.

Abundant supply is the main reason

  Why has the price of pigs continued to fall this year?

Industry experts unanimously believe that abundant supply is the main reason.

After the successful prevention and control of the African swine fever epidemic, my country's live pig production capacity has significantly recovered and the market supply is sufficient.

Zhu Zengyong told reporters that from the perspective of the pig stock, the national pig stock has recovered to 407 million by the end of 2020, which has reached more than 92% of the 2017 level.

Monitoring by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs showed that in February this year, the number of reproductive sows in the country increased by 1.0% month-on-month, an increase for 17 consecutive months; a year-on-year increase of 34.1%, an increase for 9 consecutive months.

  Correspondingly, the number of domestic pigs for slaughter continued to increase significantly.

Taking Beijing as an example, the average daily market volume of white striped pigs last week was 1,227, an increase of 5.49% from 1,163.14 last week, and a 25.09% increase compared with 980.86 in the same period last year.

  "In recent weeks, the number of white striped pigs on the Beijing market has increased by more than 20% year-on-year, and the price has fallen by more than 20% year-on-year, showing a trend of increase in volume and price." Liu Tong believes that this kind of pork price The trend is trending, and it also indicates that the price will continue to show a slow downward trend as the production capacity of live pigs recovers steadily in the later period.

  Monitoring data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs showed that from January to February, the number of pigs slaughtered by designated slaughter companies across the country reached 33.76 million, a year-on-year increase of 44.2%.

  "The price of pigs fell before the Spring Festival, which caused some big pigs to be slaughtered and slaughtered after the festival. In some areas, farmers were affected by the risk of the epidemic and also slaughtered about 80 kilograms of live pigs ahead of schedule. The supply of live pigs increased, coupled with the slaughtering of large pigs and small white bars. The concentrated entry of pigs into the market has led to a significant increase in the supply of live pigs and pork." Zhu Zengyong said.

  In addition, the increase in pork imports and the country's continued large-scale stockpile of frozen pork have also ensured that there is always a sufficient supply of pork in the market.

Since January this year, the state has put in a total of 210,000 tons of frozen pork reserves.

From January to February, my country imported 700,000 tons of pork, a year-on-year increase of 26.2%.

Abundant market supply, coupled with the fall in consumer demand after the holiday, jointly promoted the gradual decline of pork prices.

Industrial upgrading must be stepped up

  This year, there is a phenomenon in the pork market that deserves attention, that is, there are more small white-striped pigs.

Generally speaking, white striped pigs with a unit weight of 80 kg/head to 90 kg/head are moderately fat and thin, which are more popular with consumers and the price is also the highest.

The price of white-striped pigs is too large or too small, and the price of small-sized white-striped pigs is the lowest.

Liu Tong told reporters that after the Spring Festival this year, the white striped pigs sold in the Beijing market were mostly small-sized white striped pigs, which caused the overall price to fall rapidly.

  Industry veterans said that the increase in small-sized white pigs on the market is due to the sporadic occurrence of African swine fever in some areas, causing some farmers to panic early.

  Both the production and consumption of live pigs in my country rank first in the world, but the scale and intensification of the industry is insufficient.

Smithfield, the leading American pig farming company, has a market share of 15%, and Triumph Foods, which ranks second, has a market share of 6%.

The total market share of the top 10 pig breeding companies in my country is only 12%, and the proportion of pigs produced by small farmers with less than 50 pigs per year is as high as 21.6%.

The direct disadvantage of large-scale and low degree of intensification is that companies have insufficient anti-epidemic and anti-risk capabilities, which can easily lead to drastic fluctuations in the pig breeding industry. The industry’s production capacity fluctuates sharply, forming a round of "pigs" every two to three years. cycle".

  After the outbreak of African swine fever, the national live pig population rapidly dropped from 442 million in 2017 to 310 million in 2019, a decrease of 29.7%.

From the perspective of the number of pigs produced per year, the country has stabilized at more than 690 million heads in the past, and it will sharply decrease to 527 million heads by 2020, a decrease of 175 million heads from 2017, a decline of 22.5%.

  "Affected by factors such as biosecurity level, capital, technology, management, etc., the speed, time and scale of production expansion for small and medium-sized retail investors are slower than that of large-scale enterprises and large-scale farmers." Zhu Zengyong said.

  Yuan Hebin, assistant to the president of Muyuan Co., Ltd., told reporters that after the outbreak of African swine fever, Muyuan Group immediately invested funds to implement epidemic prevention upgrades on all farms in the group, relying on technology and scale advantages to achieve effective control of the epidemic.

Industry experts said that the current pig breeding industry has entered an era of high thresholds and high costs as a whole, and the industry urgently needs to be further upgraded.

  Regarding the trend of pig prices this year, Zhu Zengyong believes that domestic hog supply will continue to recover growth, government reserves of pork will continue to be put into the market, and the market supply is abundant. Under the holiday effect, pork prices may stop falling and rebound in the short term, but the overall trend of decline remains unchanged.

In the third quarter of this year, the price of pigs may pick up seasonally, but the room and time for recovery is limited, and it will continue to fall afterwards.

In view of the significant increase in corn and other feed costs, management costs and epidemic prevention costs, the average cost of self-reproduction and self-raising of live pigs has risen to more than 16 yuan per kilogram, and the cost of purchased piglets is around 28 yuan per kilogram. There are few opportunities for speculative fattening in the later stage.

  Zhu Zengyong suggested that breeders should promptly eliminate sows with outdated production capacity and shift the focus of breeding management to biosafety prevention and control and the improvement of breeding cost competitiveness.