China Chicken Prices Soared As Argentina Approved For Pork Export

Chicken Prices
(Photo: REUTERS/Stringer )

China is currently dealing with a shortage of chicken supply as people turn to poultry to replace their pork meat that has become more expensive in the past weeks. The main reason for the pricey pork was the emergence of African swine fever that severely affected the pork supply in the country. Since the availability of "clean" pork meat is now very limited, their prices have gone up.  

In effect, prices of chickens have also surged since the demand for them have increased as the Chinese people began substituting their pork with poultry. According to South China Morning Post, as the prices of chicken go up, farmers still struggle to combat the outbreak of the African Swine Fever and sadly, not many herds are saved from the disease.

The consumers are turning to poultry meat for a cheaper alternative to pork but now that chicken is short in supply, it can be said that the overall meat market in China is currently not good. Gao Xiang, analysts at Sublime China Information (SCI), deduced that the scarcity of chicken may get worse and this will cause much higher prices in the coming months.

The imports of poultry from France and the U.S. have been restricted in China since 2016 and this was due to the bird flu outbreak at that time. Though the ban stopped the spread of the disease, it affected the supply of white-feathered chickens as their number dropped sharply.

Based on the data, the live chickens in mainland China dropped from 6 billion in 2016 to just 4.16 billion in 2018. Experts stated that they are expecting another 10 percent drop in this year's production, as per China Knowledge.

Chicken meat prices shoot up by US$1.61 per kilo or 10.86 yuan this week. This is over 68 percent increase since March 2018. As the rates are expected to rise, even more, the Chinese chicken sellers are worried that day-old chicks will be pricey in the coming days too.

The African swine fever has spread in provinces in China since it was detected in August 2018. It is now a serious matter that is threatening the pork market as the Chinese cannot produce quality pork meats anymore with the disease disrupting the business big time.

In the latest update, Reuters reported that China and Argentina struck a deal for pork export. It was announced that the Chinese authorities gave the go signal for the said South American country to send and sell their pork meat to the African swine fever-stricken Asian region.

The continuous spread of the animal disease in China already drove the prices of chicken to go up as people substitute their need for pork meat with poultry. The increased prices of pork is another reason for the upped chicken prices since the supply pork is dangerously low these days after the country culled millions of hogs to stop African swine fever.  

"We have obtained approval to export pork to China, one of the world's top consumers of the meat," President Mauricio Macri of Argentia said in a statement.

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