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China’s 20,000 New Pig Farms Won’t Cool Pork Prices Just Yet

  • Market seen unlikely to start normalizing before next year
  • Meat imports will probably stay high through end of 2020
Piglets are kept in pens at a pig farm in Langfang, Hebei province, China in 2019.
Piglets are kept in pens at a pig farm in Langfang, Hebei province, China in 2019.Photographer: Gilles Sabrie/Bloomberg
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China’s massive hog farms are expanding rapidly on the back of government incentives and record pork prices, but it could be months before production increases enough to cool the market and curb imports.

The world’s biggest pork consuming and producing nation has seen prices and imports climb to all-time highs after African swine fever slashed herds by almost half. The price spike has fueled the country’s inflation, while foreign purchases are surging just as President Xi Jinping launches a campaign against food waste and the government preaches the virtues of self-sufficiency.