Sunday, June 26, 2016


Who Is Feeding China's Half A Billion Pigs?

There was a time when China’s population obtained most of its calories from carbohydrates like rice, wheat, and beans. But the country’s appetites are changing.

With China’s fast-growing middle class, today’s demand is for more meat protein, and the people’s choice is usually pork.

According to an article in Modern Farmer, Chinese farmers produced 50 million metric tons (mmt) of pork in 2012. This was twice the amount of pork produced in all the E.U. countries combined and five times the amount produced in the United States. Smithfield farms the largest pork producer in the USA is owned by a Chinese company,
Shuanghui International Holdings.
The article also estimated that swine production in China reached 723 million head in 2014 – or in other words, more than half of the country’s human population.
Or, to put it another way: Over half the world's pigs now live in China.

These numbers raise an obvious question. How is China feeding all of its pigs? The answer appears to be by using more imported grains and with the help of some high-tech Chinese companies.

A Lot of Little Porcine Mouths to Feed

The pig has long been a symbol of domestic good fortune in China – in fact, the Chinese character for “home” is a combination of the characters for “roof” and “pig.”

Pigs are models of sincerity, purity, tolerance, and honor. When you first meet them, Pigs seem too good to be true. They are careful and caring, obliging and chivalrous. Put your trust in them, they won't let you down and they will never try to. 

The Pigs simply want to do everything right. Pigs are the people everyone admires most. Make a list of the Pigs in your life: aren't they the nicest, most loving and scrupulously caring people around? 

Pigs are born to give, to yield and to serve. Frankly speaking, most people take advantage of this Pig nature. Also, not only are Pigs easy to fool, they like it that way too. No matter how old they get, Pig people still only see and believe that all men/women are basically good. 

Pig people constantly sacrifice their own happiness and comfort for the sake of somebody else. The Pig is a splendid companion. If you have a lifetime Pig friend, don't think that your worries are over. 

Pigs are loyal, faithful and giving - only as long as they approve of you. In order to keep your lifetime Piggy friend, remember, never try to force your opinions on a Pig - a Pig rarely asks for help and cannot graciously accept it. 

The Pig doesn't say much - but when they do decide to speak, suddenly, nothing can stop them until they run out of subjects. 

Like the Monkey, the Pig is intellectual - a character with a great thirst for knowledge. Some people claim that Pigs are snobbish. Manners, breeding and good taste are of enormous importance to them. In fact, pigs are aesthetic. 

Pigs are born with an excellent nose for style in everything. Food is another of Piggy's little sins. Pigs adore food, and after-dinner chocolates. The Pig often over-eats, but they eat with good taste. 

In relationship, Pig people are sensitive, sweet but naive, and caring. They are romantic and certainly are the marriage-type. But on the other hand, Pigs are also possessive, jealous and exclusive.

Much of China’s past pig production occurred on home farms where the animals were fed scraps and available crop residues. But in more recent decades, there has been a shift to large-scale factory farms that use commercial feeds more intensively.
According to a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) report, feeding China’s steadily increasing livestock population is a growing challenge. It takes about 3 kilograms of feed to produce each kilogram of meat. As a result, the USDA predicts China’s combined use of soy meal and corn for animal feed will rise from 200 mmt to more than 300 mmt over the 10-year projection period.
Much of this feed grain must be imported.

The USDA expects China’s soybean imports to reach over 70% of global soybean imports by 2024. It also anticipates that China will account for 40% of the rise in global corn trade over the coming decade. (SO WHEN WILL THE CORN PRODUCTION OF THE USA BE DIVERTED FROM ENERGY TO EXPORT FOR FEED?)

Home-Grown Expertise

But Chinese farmers are also relying on domestic companies in an increasingly high-tech supply chain.

Anyou Biotechnology Group, a company of about 8,000 employees, uses advanced scientific research and precise formulation to produce high-quality livestock feed.
Anyou’s products include supplemental nutrition known as “creep feed” that is fed to animals that are still nursing. This technique promotes rapid growth and a higher weaning weight. As one of the Asia Pacific region’s leading creep feed suppliers, many of China’s pigs are raised on Anyou products.

It’s been reported that 10% of all the piglets born in China during 2013 were “Anyou babies.”

Greater Efficiency Feeds Future Growth

Keeping pace with China’s dietary demands will require even greater levels of efficiency in the future.

Anyou has already fortified its operations. Working with MTC with the support of the SAP Partner Quality Program, Anyou standardized its business systems to streamline the company’s financial operations and increase enterprise-wide transparency for more than 40 different subsidiaries, 1300 suppliers, and farmers in 26 provinces across China and Southeast Asia.

Today, unified data management enables faster, more-informed business decisions that help Anyou stay ahead of customer demand. The results are measurable. Anyou reports a 60% increase in operational efficiency and a 10% reduction in operational costs.

Strategic Reserves and Acquisitions

The pig’s importance in Chinese culture is ancient, and the impact of the pork industry on China’s modern-day economy is enormous.

How significant is pork to the Chinese way of life? In closing, consider these two facts.

The United States Department of Energy maintains a strategic petroleum reserve to help mitigate potential supply disruptions. China has a similar stockpile of frozen-pork reserves scattered across the nation in a network of large freezers.

China pays the UK $73 million a year for British pig semen

What is a government to do when its enormous pig population doesn’t stack up in genetic quality? Obvious: call the British and arrange an annual subscription for their finest array of piggy semen. As the Guardian first pointed out, Britain now flies loads of pig loads, both fresh and frozen, to China as a part of the arrangement.

China’s pork industry is looking beyond the country’s borders for more than feed grain. In 2013, the Chinese company Shuanghui International (now known as WH Group), made headlines when it spent a reported US$4.7 billion to buy Smithfield Foods – the largest pork producer in the United States.

This story also appeared on SAP Business Trends.