Right now, China is in the middle of a food crisis because due to serious agricultural mismanagement, a giant population, and systematic corruption, she cannot grow her own food and relies on the US to import key commodities such as soy and pork. Without both of these, China could face a revolution.
But now, China has just started to boas that she is growing pigs as large a polar bears, weighing up to 500 kg.
High pork prices in the northeastern province of Jilin is prompting farmers to raise pigs to reach an average weight of 175 kilograms to 200 kilograms, higher than the normal weight of 125 kilograms. They want to raise them “as big as possible,”said Zhao Hailin, a hog farmer in the region.
The trend isn’t limited to small farms either. Major protein producers in China, including Wens Foodstuffs Group Co, the country’s top pig breeder, Cofco Meat Holdings Ltd. and Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group Co. say they are trying to increase the average weight of their pigs. Big farms are focusing on boosting the heft by at least 14%, said Lin Guofa, a senior analyst with consulting firm Bric Agriculture Group.
The average weight of pigs at slaughter at some large-scale farms has climbed to as much as 140 kilograms, compared with about 110 kilograms normally, Lin said. That could boost profits by more than 30%, he said.
The large swine are being bred during a desperate time for China. With African swine fever decimating the nation’s hog herd — in half, by some estimates — prices of pork have soared to record levels, leading the government to urge farmers to boost production to temper inflation. Wholesale pork prices in China have surged more than 70% this year.
Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua warned that the supply situation will be “extremely severe” through to the first half of 2020. China will face a pork shortage of 10 million tons this year, more than what’s available in global trade, meaning it needs to increase production domestically, he said.
During a recent visit to major livestock provinces of Shandong, Hebei and Henan, Hu urged local governments to resume pig production as soon possible, with a target of returning to normal levels next year.
Still, many farmers are wary about restocking swine after being hurt by an earlier outbreak. Also, piglet and breeding sow prices have surged, making it more expensive for backyard farms to afford rebuilding their herds. Increasing the size of pigs they already own may be the next best step.
This story does not mean anything. This is not a criticism of the source or the author- they are reporting good things and there is nothing inaccurate per se in their commentary. What is laughable is the Chinese approach.
I covered this in a story about Putin’s “Potemkin Village” comments on soy and wheat exports to China. Russia’s comments “threatening” to supplant the US is just meant to sow doubts in the Americans because Russia cannot export a product she does not have (soy) nor can she export something that the Chinese do not need to buy because they are already the world’s foremost producer of it in abundance (wheat).
This is one story about one farm, with many details missing. For example, what is the cost/profit ratio for these pigs, i.e. is it profitable to farm them? What percentage of pigs such as this are being used? The list goes on.
It is easy to say that if these pigs were actually a threat to the US market in China, the US government would respond by undercutting prices to such a point that it would be unprofitable for the Chinese to produce their own pork, and we would do this to keep them dependent on us. Pork and soy are two crucial point of US foreign policy, and she is not going to let them slip away.
Likewise, China is known for lying about her supposed agricultural capacities to the point of exaggeration when reality shows that she is consistently lacking.
This entire story is meant to scare Americans and boost Chinese “face” (the concept of honor) in the world. It has no practical basis in reality. If anything, it means that China is probably scared and wants to try to address this reality to the public without actually providing a real answer to it, since they do not have one and it is pulling the nation apart as without food, the people starve, and starving people do not make for citizens that care about supporting the government. Likewise, it also may be an attempt to manipulate pork prices downward, on the assumption that investors would be more risk-averse to invest in pork if they believed that a potential oversupply was imminent in the markets.
If this was coming from a Germany or Japan, the story would matter differently. However, there is nothing to indicate this program is serious. While it is certainly not impossible, it is far more likely that this project will be as successful as Chinese-made products of any type, breaking after the first or second use albeit cheap.
To this topic, there is much talk about the future of “meatless meat”, but this is nothing new. It is just another name for the veggie burger. If anything, it is not so much an indication that meat consumption will decline, but that pea, soy, and bean agricultural futures will likely increase.
The future of meat being grown in labs is one issue, but the future of this will not be decided in China, but Silicon Valley, New York, London, Berlin, or Tokyo. It is not going to come from China, as those are the countries that “bring home the real bacon,” and not texture-modified plastic with bacon flavor sprayed onto it