BEIJING - China produced 42.55 million tonnes of pork in 2019, down 21.3% from a year earlier, official data showed on Friday, after the fatal hog disease African swine fever killed millions of pigs in the world's top producer.
The pig herd declined 27.5% from a year earlier to 310.41 million head by the end of December, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said.
The number of slaughtered hogs last year fell 21.6% to 544.19 million head, it said.
African swine fever, an incurable virus that kills almost all the pigs it infects but does not harm humans, reached China in 2018 and has hit farms across the country.
China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs reported the hog herd had declined in October by 41% from a year earlier but rose by 2% in November. That data did not give a total herd size
The full-year NBS figure is up from the 306.75 million head it reported for the first nine months of the year.
Rabobank forecast in November that China's pork production would shrink by 25% in 2019 to about 40.5 million tonnes, and a further 10% to 15% in 2020. [nL3N27O2DZ]
China's food prices have soared because of an increase in the pork costs, driving inflation close to an eight-year high. [nL4N28K0IY]
Total meat output including pork, beef, lamb and poultry fell 10.2% in 2019 to 76.49 million tonnes, the NBS data also showed.
Beef output rose 3.6% to 6.67 million tonnes while poultry output jumped 12.3% to 22.39 million tonnes.