The China Pork Playbook

Dec 11, 2020

Go big or go home: the mantra of China’s top pig producer.

Muyuan Foods is building the largest single site hog farm in the world. After African Swine Fever [ASF] demolished China’s pig population and sent pork prices to double their previous record, Muyuan is banking on getting a slice of that profit pie.

And they’re in a position to win. While corporate pork companies felt the sting of ASF, they quickly recouped losses as prices spiked. Their counterparts – the small, family-owned herd – didn’t have that same outcome.

But innovation is the name of the game in order for Muyuan to make the moolah. The new farm is highly automated to increase efficiency. State-of-the-art thermal imaging cameras and air filtration systems are being installed to keep disease out.

The mega farm, by the numbers:
→ 21 buildings across the campus
84,000 sows, 10x a typical U.S. breeding farm
2.1 million pigs produced a year

China’s goal: Reduce dependence on the global pork market. U.S. producers know this story all too well. Thanks in part to China plus others, U.S. pork exports account for 29.2% of production and were up 15% to $6.33 billion through the first ten months of the year.

How this ends: It will be no small feat for Muyuan and others to keep ASF out of these high-density production sites. With no vaccine or cure available for the deadly disease, China pork producers are truly betting the farm on this pork herd rebuild.