China’s July pork imports more than doubled to 430,000 tonnes, breaking the record import volume of 400,000 tonnes set one month earlier in June.
According to a report from Reuters, the customs data released on Sunday shows the huge import volumes surpassed the previous record as the country continues to import large volumes of meat to make up for the shortfall caused by the African swine fever epidemic which recently wiped out millions of the country’s pig herd.
The data does not reveal the origins of the shipments but Reuters revealed through an anonymous industry source that June exports to China from major suppliers including the United States, Brazil, European Union and Canada had all declined compared to the prior month.
The news is surprising as China has asked overseas plants to suspend shipments if they experience coronavirus cases among workers, despite experts saying there is no evidence to show the virus can be transmitted through food, and Beijing starting coronavirus checks for frozen food containers, slowing meat cargo clearing at ports.
Pan Chenjun, senior analyst at Rabobank, said “Considering the U.S. and Europe had suspensions or slower production in May, that’s really incredible.”