Meat imports surge to ease pressure from tight pork supply

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/9/8 20:33:39

A pork stall in Beijing on Wednesday Photo: Li Hao/GT

China's meat imports, including pork and beef, have surged in the first eight months of the year, national data showed on Sunday. 

China's imports of pork jumped 66.1 percent year-on-year in the first eight months of the year, with beef imports rising by 65.2 percent, national broadcaster CCTV reported on Sunday.

Experts said that China has been expanding pork imports due to tight domestic supply caused by African Swine Fever, and increasing imports of other meat can help ease the volatility of the domestic meat market.

"Pork prices in the domestic market have rocketed in recent months, and expanding imports is a macroeconomic adjustment measure to ease the rising prices and increase revenue for importers," Li Guoxiang, a research fellow at the Rural Development Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Beef and other meat products are substitutes for pork. Customers tend to choose other goods when pork prices reach a certain level, and diversified consumption can also ease the tight situation in the pork market, Li said.

According to a report from the Xinhua News Agency, a batch of Kazakhstan beef arrived at the international railway port of Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan Province on Friday, and a Chinese importer in Chengdu plan to import 400-500 tons of beef from Kazakhstan every month.

Chengdu international railway port could further expand meat imports from Belarus, Ukraine and other places, and provide a whole-process supply chain service to meet the demand in Western China, said the report.

"China has been striving to cultivate a diversified supply chain for imported agricultural products, including soybeans and pork. It could help tame risks from trade frictions or natural disasters," Li said.

In July, China imported 182,227 tons of pork, up 106.7 percent year-on-year, according to data from the General Administration of Customs. Beef imports in July reached 152,213 tons, up 82.9 percent year-on-year, and frozen chicken imports reached 68,221 tons, up 39.1 percent.


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