Chinese pork imports continued to “boom” throughout the first half of 2016, with June imports of fresh/frozen pork up 138% on the year at 762,000 tonnes, according to AHDB Pork.
“Following last year’s rationalisation of the Chinese breeding herd, domestic production has yet to recover,” said AHDB Pork. “In addition, strong environmental barriers are preventing producers from entering the market, or expanding, and some smaller producers are being squeezed out.
“This has led to the pig price in China reaching historic highs, despite the authorities trying to ease the situation by releasing government stores of pigmeat onto the market.
“This has therefore presented opportunities for major producing countries to capitalise on both increasing demand and increasing prices.”
The first six months of 2016 have been particularly good for European pigmeat supplies heading into China, with over two thirds of the country’s imported pork coming from the EU.
“Volumes are up for all member states,” said AHDB Pork, adding that Germany heads the sales list with 153,600 tonnes dispatched between January and June this year compared with 83,400 tonnes in the equivalent first six months of 2015.
Spanish producers also achieved major progress, moving from 57,300 tonnes in the first half of 2015 to 135,900 tonnes in the equivalent period this year.