China pork imports hit record in April, up 170% from 2019

China pork imports hit record in April, up 170% from 2019

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Country takes advantage of lower pork prices in other countries

China imported a record 400,000 tons of pork in April, an increase of 170% from the previous year, according to a Reuters report. For the first quarter, it imported 1.35 million tons of pork.

Pork prices hit record highs in China as its pig herd was depleted due to African swine fever (ASF), but the country has taken advantage of lower prices in other countries. Prices in China have fallen in recent months, but are still double what they were a year ago.

The chairman of China-based New Hope Group, Liu Yonghao, said recently that he expects China’s pork industry to see new entrants in the next year, which will cause pork prices to come down. He predicted pork prices will remain high this year but, as new companies from other industries – such as real estate and technology – invest in pig farming, prices will come down.

Reuters also reported that China imported 160,000 tons of beef in April. Imports of meat in the first quarter were up 54%.

Cambodia reduces pig imports

Meanwhile, according to the Khmer Times, the Cambodian government has reduced its imports of live pigs from neighboring countries by up to 70% in an effort to support local farmers to increase domestic production.

Tan Phannara, director-general of the General Directorate of Animal Health and Production at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, told reporters at a news conference that there are six companies allowed to import live pigs from other countries, mainly Thailand.

The demand for live pigs is approximately 8,000 per day, of which local farmers can supply 6,000 per day.

The Cambodia government also said it would not allow the transport of live pigs from Thailand to Vietnam. Cambodia separates the two countries geographically.

According to a recent report, Vietnam said it would import 20,000 breeding pigs from Thailand this year.

View our continuing coverage of the African swine fever outbreak.