China’s meat imports in September fell sharply from a year ago to their lowest in 19 months, customs data showed on Wednesday, as cheap domestic pork cut demand for overseas supply.
China brought in 694,000 tonnes of meat in September, down 17% from the same month a year ago, according to the General Administration of Customs. Shipments in the first nine months of the year were 7.38 million tonnes, down 0.4% from last year’s volumes, the data showed.
September imports were also down from the 758,000 tonnes brought in during August and were the lowest since February 2020.
Domestic pork prices PORK-CN-TOT-D have plunged this year, after production surged because of successful efforts to restock and expand farms following an African swine fever epidemic that decimated herds during 2018 and 2019.
Prices are currently at 15.2 yuan ($2.36) per kg, a third of what they were at the start of the year.
Beijing has stepped in to prop up prices, launching a fresh round of stockpiling for its state reserves this month after purchasing 50,000 tonnes in July.
Producers were still losing more than 500 yuan per hog during August, according to agriculture ministry data.
$1 = 6.4454 Chinese yuan renminbi Reporting by Dominique Patton and Hallie Gu; Editing by Christian Schmollinger