China imported 460,000 tonnes of pork in March
China has reached an all-time high in pork imports last month buying 460,000 tonnes from its suppliers. Inbound shipments increased 16% from a year earlier to 460,000 tonnes, boosting overall meat imports to a record as well, according to customs data quoted by the South China Morning Post newspaper. Purchases in the first quarter advanced 22% to 1.16 million tonnes, data showed.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the country’s hog inventory totaled 415.95 million by the end of March, about 30% more than a year earlier. That compares with 411 million hogs at the end of the first quarter of 2017, indicating that numbers have recovered to levels before the outbreak of the deadly swine disease in 2018, official data claims.
However, other experts do not agree with the data reported by the National Bureau of Statistics. According to Pan Chenjun, senior livestock analyst with Rabobank, hog herds in the country have contracted by as much as 30% in the winter season due to several diseases that impacted the sector. A severe wave of African swine fever in recent months has wiped out at least 20% of the breeding herd in northern China, some estimates show. Imports, driven partly by state purchases, will remain strong in May as traders anticipate a rebound in domestic pork prices.
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