China pig herd falls 16.6 percent in Feb year on year as African swine fever hits

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s pig herd slid 16.6 percent in February from the previous year, as African swine fever ravaged its vast herd, data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs showed on Friday.

China’s sow herd dropped 19.1 percent in February from the same month a year earlier, according to the data collected by the ministry from 400 counties across the nation.

The pig herd was down 5.4 percent and the sow herd 5 percent last month from January, the data showed.

China, home to the world’s largest hog herd, has reported 112 outbreaks of deadly African swine fever in 28 provinces and regions since August 2018.

Reporting by Hallie Gu and Dominique Patton; Editing by Tom Hogue