Although the price of pork has continued to fall since mid-October 2022, pork consumption has shown a phenomenon of “not busy in peak season”.
On the day of the Lantern Festival, the reporter went to several vegetable markets in Beijing again to understand the price of pork, and found that compared with before the Spring Festival, the price of pork was significantly lower, and the boost effect of the Lantern Festival was not obvious. For example, according to the sales staff of a supermarket in Chaoyang District, the price of pork in the supermarket is higher than that in the vegetable market, but it continues to slump. On February 5th, the prices of premium front tip and premium pork belly were 12.98 yuan/catties and 19.98 yuan/catties respectively, while before the Spring Festival they were 13.98 yuan/catties and 22.98 yuan/catties.
According to the monitoring of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the average price of pork in the national agricultural product wholesale market in the fifth week of 2023 (January 29 to February 4) is 22.43 yuan/kg, which is 35.36 yuan/kg higher than the highest price in 2022 (the 42nd week) ( October 9 to October 15) fell by about 37%.
“From the perspective of live pig and pork prices, as of the fifth week of 2023, it has fallen for 14 consecutive weeks.” Zhu Zengyong, a researcher at the Beijing Institute of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medicine, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, said that although the decline fell in the third week of January, but Because post-holiday consumption is generally in the off-season, the price of pigs is still in the process of bottoming out in the short term.
“The peak season is not busy”, why the price of pigs continues to slump
Although the price of pigs has continued to fall since mid-October 2022, pork consumption has shown a phenomenon of “not busy in peak season”. “It was an important time to prepare new year’s goods. Judging from the situation in previous years, the price of live pigs should be high at this time, but this year’s situation is a bit special and different from previous years.” Chief Agronomist and Development Planning Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Chang Zeng Yande pointed out on January 18 that the supply of live pigs has shown three new characteristics: increased slaughter, weak consumption, and falling prices.
According to Zeng Yande, my country sold 699 million live pigs last year, an average of two pigs per pig. The supply of live pigs is guaranteed. However, due to the impact of the new crown epidemic, catering and group consumption have not yet fully recovered. On the eve of the Lantern Festival, some customers told reporters that they stored a large amount of beef, mutton, and pork when they were quarantined at home. There is still pork stock in the freezer at home, so they are going to “digest (stock) first and then (buy)”.
According to statistics, in November and December 2022, the stock of 5-month-old medium and large pigs in large-scale pig farms in my country will increase by 10.9% and 5.6% year-on-year respectively. These pigs will be slaughtered in about 6 months, and there will be more listings in the later period. “Comprehensive judgment, before and after the Spring Festival, the number of live pigs slaughtered will not be less than that of the same period last year. In addition, after the festival, pork consumption has entered an off-season, and the trend of low pig prices is obvious, and pig farming may enter a period of loss.” Zeng Yande said.
“Under normal conditions, from 2019 to 2022, it should be a profitable state. However, because the local price of pigs fluctuated greatly last year, some farmers may not have stepped on the right time.” Zhu Zengyong said that the price of pigs will have a certain season However, the main reason for its short-term ups and downs is that the downward cycle of pig prices is superimposed on the impact of other factors such as epidemics and environmental protection, and the second fattening in the past two years has also become an important reason for affecting pig prices.
According to industry insiders, secondary fattening is a common phenomenon in the pig farming industry. Generally, when the price of live pigs fluctuates relatively greatly and the market outlook is optimistic, farmers are driven by speculation and buy healthy pigs that are normally slaughtered. Go to the pigs with a larger weight before going out to slaughter. For example, from August to October 2022, several waves of rapid rise in the price of pigs were caused by the decline in the number of live pigs sold in a short period of time due to the pressure on the fence and the second fattening. “In fact, the actual supply has not changed, so the price of pigs has dropped for several months after November.” Zhu Zengyong said.
The international market is not optimistic either. The report of the Agricultural Trade Early Warning and Relief Expert Committee of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs predicts that global pork production will continue to grow in 2023, but trade volume will continue to decrease, and international pork prices will continue to rise without support. According to the monitoring of the International Cooperation Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, entering 2023, international pork prices will continue the downward trend since October 2022. As of press time, the overall price level has dropped to about 13,000 yuan per ton.
Start the purchase and storage of pork reserves
Zeng Yande believes that price fluctuations are inevitable for the market trend of live pigs in the future. “Our goal is to reduce the frequency and magnitude of fluctuations.” In terms of trends, the key is to look at the number of fertile sows, the number of medium and large pigs and the number of pigs on hand. Newborn piglet size 3 factors. Among them, by the end of 2022, the number of reproductive sows in my country will be close to 44 million, which is slightly higher than the upper limit of the green and reasonable area for production capacity regulation. The annual pork output is 55.41 million tons, an increase of 4.6% over the previous year.
“Analyses from all parties believe that the current domestic pig production capacity is generally within a reasonable range, and it is expected that the price fluctuations in 2023 will be smaller than in 2022.” Wan Jinsong, director of the Price Department of the National Development and Reform Commission, said on January 12 that he will continue to work closely with relevant departments Keep an eye on the market dynamics, and take timely control measures in accordance with the provisions of the plan to promote the smooth operation of the live pig market.
According to the monitoring of the National Development and Reform Commission, from January 30 to February 3, the national average pig grain price ratio (referring to the ratio of the weekly live pig price to the average wholesale price of second-grade corn in major wholesale markets across the country) was 4.96:1, which entered the “Improving Government Pork Reserve Adjustment Mechanism Do a Good Job in the Pork Market Guaranteeing Supply and Stable Price Work Plan “set the excessive drop first-level warning range.
The person in charge of the relevant department of the National Development and Reform Commission once pointed out that the pig food price comparison index is an important indicator that directly reflects the cost-benefit relationship of pig farming, and has been widely concerned by the pig farming industry. Generally speaking, when the pig-grain price ratio is between 5:1 and 6:1 for three consecutive weeks, a second-level warning is issued, and when it is lower than 5:1, a first-level warning is issued. The National Development and Reform Commission announced on February 6 that it will start the collection and storage of frozen pork reserves in the central government with relevant departments, and guide the simultaneous purchase and storage of local regions.
“Consumption is expected to pick up gradually from the second quarter this year, so that the overall supply and demand will be booming in the second half of the year.” Zhu Zengyong believes that the overall pig price in 2023 should be basically the same as the same period last year, but the price vibration will drop significantly . “The price will not be too low in the first half of the year, and the price will not be too high in the second half of the year. Although there will be a rebound in pig prices in the second half of the year when supply and demand are both booming, the overall fluctuation space will be significantly narrowed.”
“The price of domestic feed has been rising in the past two years.” Cai Ning, manager of the process research and development department of Beijing Jingpeng Huanyu Animal Husbandry Technology Co., Ltd. and director of the pig industry, revealed that for most pig farms, 70% of the production costs come from the following Corn and soybeans are the main raw materials for feed. Therefore, he suggested that farmers reduce the feed-to-meat ratio and improve feeding efficiency by upgrading facilities and equipment, optimizing the design and construction of pig farms, etc., so as to reduce costs and increase efficiency.
Zhu Zengyong reminded that the current winter and spring seasons are a period of high incidence of animal diseases, and we must do a good job in the prevention and control of animal diseases. For farmers who are fattening for the second time, he suggested that they should not be speculative and blindly carry out the second fattening. “In terms of the rhythm of the slaughter of live pigs, you must follow the trend, and don’t bet on the high price of pigs.” (Wei Wan)