China’s pork imports from Brazil and Europe are surging as it attempts to fill a 10 million-ton domestic shortfall of meat this year, caused by the mass pig culls it carried out after African swine fever was diagnosed in its domestic herds last year, said the Financial Times.
With the surge in prices, import demand is back. The value of pork imports grew more than 150 per cent year-on-year in August to RMB 2.5 billion ($350 million), according to Financial Times calculations based on figures published by China’s state media, which showed that pork imports by value jumped 66% year-on-year in the first eight months of the year.
Chinese pork producers began preemptively culling their herds last year to avoid infection, resulting in a boost to meat supply that temporarily kept prices low and damped demand for imports. Since then the virus, which is harmless to humans but deadly to pigs, has been recorded in every province and China’s pig stock has dropped by a third.