Coronavirus adds pressure to China’s pork prices and supplies

An official from China’s agriculture ministry told a briefing on Sunday that the coronavirus outbreak has led to a delay in the launch of a new pig breeding program which i has piled on more pressure on pork prices and supplies.

In a statement, Kong Liang, deputy director at the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Bureau of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, said “the coronavirus outbreak has disrupted the delivery of vital feed and veterinary medicine supplies, and also delayed the return of agricultural workers to farms”.

To contain the outbreak, China has halted the movements of goods and people from Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak; other regions which have registered infections are also under lockdown.

“Looking at it from a market perspective, due to the regional blockades, pork supplies in some places are tight, and prices have risen by a certain extent,” said Kong to reporters.

In 2019, China’s pork supplies had dipped by 21.3% due to an outbreak of the African swine fever which forced authorities to slaughter 390,000 pigs, said Kong.

China’s coronavirus has interrupted state-led efforts to revive the industry.

China has released 10,000 tonnes of frozen pork from its strategic reserve for use in Hubei.

Beijing is also aiming to boost imports to alleviate shortages.

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