Pig farmers expect mass bankruptcy by October

The China Post news staff

The China Post news staff–Despite assurances of support from the government, the country’s pig farmers, worrying that pork prices might remain low until mid-2013, yesterday expressed their belief that about half of them may go bankrupt within seven months. It takes the prices of pigs at least 14 months to rebound back to the normal level, Chang Wen-shan (張文山), chairman of the Pingtung County Pig Farmers Association board of directors said yesterday, adding about 50 to 60 percent of the country’s pig farmers may go bankrupt.

Pingtung, with its 1.5 million pigs, is the country’s number-one pig farming county.

“The rest will likely suffer heavy financial losses,” he said.

The price-stabilizing measures announced by the Council of Agriculture may work in the future, but are incapable of raising prices now, he continued, adding “even if the price of pigs can be raised from over NT$5,000 per 100 kilogram to more than NT$6,000, pig farmers will still lose money.”

During an interpellation session at the Legislature a few days ago, COA Minister Chen Bao-ji vowed to revert pig prices to the basic level at NT$6,500 per kilogram. Chen also immediately committed 9,000 slaughtered hogs to cold storage and ordered an end to above-quota raising by large pig farms.

According to Chang, price stabilization must begin from scratch, and the total number of pigs must be kept under control.