September 19, 2018 / 8:50 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-China's sow herd falls in August by 4.8 pct from a year earlier

(Adds detail)

BEIJING, Sept 19 (Reuters) - China’s sow herd fell in August by 4.8 percent from a year earlier, the country’s State Council said on its website on Wednesday citing data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the biggest drop this year.

The numbers reflect this year’s poor pig prices as well as some impact from the recent outbreaks of African swine fever, said Yao Guiling, an analyst at China-America Commodity Data Analytics.

The low hog prices have caused some farmers to reduce the replenishment of breeding herds, she said, while some small farmers have exited the business.

China has reported more than a dozen outbreaks of African swine flu since early August, leading to transport restrictions and further price declines in some areas.

The ministry does not provide numbers detailing the total number of animals. It also revised the way it calculates the data in March, adjusting historical data in the process.

The sow herd, pigs that are kept for breeding, declined by 1.1 percent from the prior month, the ministry data showed.

China’s hog herd, the animals that are slaughtered for meat, fell in August by 2.4 percent from a year earlier and by 0.3 percent from July.

Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk and Dominique Patton. Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Christian Schmollinger

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