(Bloomberg) – China, the world's leading pork producer, imported a record amount of meat in May with an attempt to mitigate the impact of African swine fever as the domestic price of pork.
China bought 556,276 tons of meat and offal in May, up about 45% from the previous year, according to official customs data published on Sunday. It brings the total imports into the first five months to 2.2 million tons, an increase of 23% over last year.
Imports are unlikely to fall in spite of limited refrigeration in China's largest ports, says Pan Chenjun, a livestock analyst at Rabobank in Hong Kong.
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Still, import growth for the full year is likely to be limited as China disappears US supplies due to trade spit between the two countries, said Jim Huang, CEO of China-data.com.cn, an agricultural industry consultant.
"There won't be enough meat elsewhere in China," Huang said. Pig prices in some areas of the country have recently picked up despite low seasonal demand, suggesting that tight supplies are threatening, Huang says. Wholesale pork spot prices were 21.55 yuan a kilo on June 14, an increase of 12% from the same period last year.
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