The China Feed Industry Association (CFIA) is seeking to cap crude protein and soybean meal content in pig feed in a bid to reduce soybean imports as the trade dispute between the world's two largest economies pushed up domestic prices.
Amid the ongoing climbing prices of soybean meal, which provides the protein and amino acids that pigs need to thrive, due to increased costs of imported soybeans, the association called for cutting the amount of protein required in food for pigs, according to a statement on its WeChat account on Wednesday.
China is short on pig feed and its protein supply has long relied on imports, which has been a bottleneck restraining development of the country's feeding industry, CFIA said in a statement on September 30, soliciting comments on pig feed standards until next Monday.
With the development of related technologies, the required crude protein levels in swine fodder can greatly drop, the CFIA said, adding the new standard sets a ceiling on crude protein and total phosphorus in swine fodder, the move of which is for reducing consumption on raw materials and the pollution from the breeding industry on the environment.
Qiao Shiyan, a professor of China Agricultural University, said a drop of 2 percentage points in protein level in pig feed from the current 16 percent to 14 percent can save about 10.3 million tons of soybean meal consumption, equal to about 13.7 million tons of soybeans, calculated per annual pig feed output, according to an article published on CFIA's website on September 5.
Reducing the use will be easier in China than elsewhere because domestic farmers have long included more soy than needed to keep their hogs healthy, Reuters reported in September, citing industry experts in China and the US. Chinese farmers could cut soymeal rations by nearly half without harming hogs' growth, the report said.