China to raise incentives to boost pork supplies: state media

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China will provide more incentives to encourage hog rearing and stabilize pork supplies, with prices set to jump as much as 70% this year after an outbreak of African swine fever, official media said, citing the country’s agriculture ministry.

Local authorities will award incentives to major hog producing counties and also give allowances to regions to help control the disease, the Xinhua news agency said, citing Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs spokesman Guang Defu.

They will also make sure preferential loans and subsidies are delivered to producers more quickly, Guang said.

Pork prices have risen 29.3% on a year earlier, another official, Tang Ke, was quoted as saying. The ministry predicted prices could rise as much as 70% this year, the China Daily reported.

In May, China’s sow herd fell 23.9% compared to a year earlier, after falling 22.9% in the previous month, and some analysts have warned that production could eventually fall by as much as 35%. Imports also surged 63% to a near three-year high.

China’s Vice Premier, Hu Chunhua, said last month that pork had an “irreplaceably important role” in China’s economic and political stability, and urged local governments to take action to stabilize production and avoid abnormal price fluctuations.

(Reporting by David Stanway; editing by Richard Pullin)

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