China bought 556,276 tons of meat and offal, pork intestines and organs, in May, up about 45% from a year earlier, according to data from the General Administration Customs, said Bloomberg.
That brings total imports in the first five months of 2019 to 2.2 million metric tons, a 23% increase year-on-year. Pork imports surged the most among the meats, increasing 63% to 187,459 tons in May from a year earlier. Lamb shipments climbed 53% to 42,036 tons, while beef imports rose 41% to 123,720 tons. Frozen chicken purchases grew 26% to 63,430 tons, customs data showed.
Imports are unlikely to slow down, despite limited cold storage space at China’s major ports, said Pan Chenjun, a livestock analyst at Rabobank in Hong Kong. China, the world’s top pork consumer, imported a record volume of meat in May in a bid to mitigate the impact of African swine fever as domestic pork prices rebound, reported Bloomberg.
Pork prices in some areas of the country have recently picked up despite low seasonal demand, indicating tight supply is looming, said Jim Huang, chief executive officer of China-data.com.cn, a consultant for the agriculture industry. Wholesale pork spot prices were at RMB 21.55 a kilogram on June 14, up 12% from the same time last year.