START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
709,684 people care about Real Food

China’s 220,000 Ton Frozen Pork Reserve

China’s 220,000 Ton Frozen Pork Reserve

The character for “house” (jia) in Mandarin Chinese is a pig under a roof: Far from being “the other white meat,” pork is basic to the Chinese diet. There’s over 446 million pigs in China, about one for every three people. 40 million tons of pork are eaten every year in China, says China Daily. All told, more than half of the meat consumed in China is pork; in some places, it’s 70 percent.

With China’s economic prosperity, demand for meat — for pork — has sharply risen with the average Chinese person eating four times as much pork in 2007 as he had in the early 1990s, the New York Times reports. But, due to prices declining 20 percent in the 15 months through March 2010,  farmers reduced their herds, leading to tight supplies, says Wang Xiaoyue, an analyst at Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultant Co in China Daily.

Inflation is rising at the fastest rate in three years in China and food prices are hitting Chinese consumers hard. The price of pork up 38 percent since the start of the year in some urban areas. So the government has a plan, to put some of its central government’s 200,000-metric-ton stash of frozen pork on the market.

Yes, China has a pork reserve, or rather a frozen pork reserve, as the New York Times says:

The crush of demand for pork has made the supply vulnerable to all sorts of fluctuations, from epidemics of pig diseases to weather changes that affect the price of grain that fattens pigs. But a nation that runs on pork cannot afford to run short. So in 2007, the government decided to establish a national pork reserve, reasoning that a backlog of frozen meat could be used to make up for shortages and stabilize prices when necessary.

TIn practice, a strategic pork reserve has problems. Frozen meat does not keep for more than about four months, and live animals must be fed and constantly replenished to keep the reserve stable. In Shaoxing, a large city in coastal Zhejiang Province, the local government keeps a virtual reserve of pork by paying farmers a subsidy of 20 renminbi per pig — about $3 — to keep their herds at a set level.

I’m not sure I want to ask what you do with 200,000 metric tons of frozen pork that have gone bad.

As a testament that even the best laid plans can go to waste — and a tacit illustration of the size of China’s population — the New York Times says that, for all that frozen pork in China (200,000 metric tons is equivalent to about 220,000 tons), “the reserve is too small to make a dent in China’s demand, and so is unlikely to have a big impact on rising prices.” 200,000 metric tons of pork amounts to enough to meet only about one to two days of demand in China. Might China find the need for putting up even more hundreds of tons of frozen pork?


Related Care2 Coverage

British People Think Pigs Have Wings

Pig Farms Breed Drug-Resistant Diseases

Food Prices Predicted to Rise 2% to 3% This Year

Read more: , , , , ,

Photo by Ray_from_LA

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it


+ add your own
2:17PM PDT on Sep 11, 2011


8:22AM PDT on Jul 31, 2011

Wow I didn't even know they ate that much pork.

5:09PM PDT on Jul 27, 2011

Gross. Wonder if the high pork intake is partly responsible for their lower life expectancy as compared to other developed countries.

9:25PM PDT on Jul 19, 2011


11:58AM PDT on Jul 19, 2011


7:35PM PDT on Jul 18, 2011

Maybe China should eat less pork?

9:33AM PDT on Jul 18, 2011

I don't know if that is a great idea what if the power goes out?

3:50AM PDT on Jul 18, 2011

It's bad enough that people are eating animals, but to raise them, kill them and allow them to go to waste..? Horrific.

12:06AM PDT on Jul 18, 2011

good articele

5:14PM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

Thanks for sharing.

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Care2 - Be Extraordinary - Start a Care2 Petition
ads keep care2 free

Recent Comments from Causes

spay, neuter stop breeding, people are greedy & lazy using animals for their own heartless needs.…

Lots to talk about, thanks for posting

meet our writers

Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches and writes about ancient Greek and Latin and is Online Advocacy and Marketing... more
ads keep care2 free

more from causes

Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.