Lyle L. Jones, Director of Sales, China

Tribute to Dr. E. Wayne Johnson International Pig Expert

Dr. E. Wayne Johnson famous Swine Veterinarian and International pig expert passed away on April 16, 2024, in Yancheng, Jiangsu, China. Dr. Johnson grew up on a livestock farm in Illinois and received his DVM from the University of Illinois. After extensive work and distinguished career with the pig industry in the USA, Dr. Johnson worked at China Agricultural University and with Guangdong Pig Raising Association as a visiting foreign expert. Afterwards, Dr. Johnson formed Enable Ag Tech along with his wife Dr. Qiao Qingyan, who has a PhD in Swine Nutrition from China Agricultural University. From their office in Beijing Changping, Dr. Johnson provided technical consulting, tech services, applied research, and visits and training to pig farms, feed companies, pharmaceutical industry, and related companies and industry in China, southeast Asia, Europe, Australia, and the USA. We will deeply miss Dr. Johnson and extend our thoughts and prayers to his wife, sons, and daughters, of which we know he was immensely proud.

China Hog Market:

There are shocking headlines in China daily of supply imbalance caused by greed, fear, disease, and financial challenges in the industry. One can debate the actual sow inventories, but one this is for certain- pig prices are increasing, and feed costs are decreasing.

On April 14th, the national average price of live slaughter pigs was 15.3 yuan/kg ($0.97/lb.) up from 14.09 yuan/kg ($0.88) at the start of the year. However, the big movement has been in price of weaned pigs up from 195 yuan ($27) in early January to over six hundred yuan ($85) currently. At the same time there has been a sharp drop in feed costs with corn price of $5.73/bushel and Soybean Meal falling to around $450 per ton. So, producers in China are struggling to decide as to whether cut their losses now and get out, our try to hang on in hopes of large future payoffs.

April is the time for publicly listed pig enterprises to release their annual reports, only four have done so by now. Those companies are Jingji Zhinong, Superstar Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, Hefeng Co., Ltd., and Zhenghong Technology. Most pig companies are going to wait until the last moment to publish their annual reports. We can only assume because of the huge losses they have suffered.

There is often discussion about what the actual sow inventory numbers are in China. According to reports there are still more than forty million, down from 42.98 million one year ago. However, we believe the numbers significantly less as we continue to hear reports (and are aware of) empty barns and farms all over due to reoccurring disease outbreaks. In the Northeast of China and Shandong reports are 30-40% losses.

It is a pity no one knows what the actual sow inventories really are, as companies do not have to report them. However, no one pays more than they have and the fact that piglet prices keep increasing tells us that producers are optimistic about the future.

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This post was written by Genesus