According to the latest customs data released on Tuesday (7th September) China imported 758,000 tonnes of meat in August, down 8.9% from the same month a year ago, as weak domestic pork prices took their toll on demand for imported product.
Domestic pork prices have fallen this year after a surge in production in the country which is rebuilding after an African swine fever epidemic decimated herds during 2018 and 2019.
According to agriculture ministry data, small farmers have been losing an average 665 yuan ($103.04) per hog during June. However, the government stepped in to prop up prices, buying up pork for its reserves. Despite this, prices still slumped in August to less than half of what they were a year ago, Reuters noted.
August imports were also lower than July’s figure of 854,000 tonnes. However, China has imported 6.69 million tonnes of meat for the first eight months of the year, and remain slightly above last year’s volumes at 1.7%, according to the General Administration of Customs.