China’s meat imports in the first two months of the year fell sharply from the same period a year earlier, customs data showed on Monday, as a jump in domestic supplies curbed appetite for international shipments.
China brought in 1.07 million tonnes of meat in the January-February period, down 33% from 1.6 million tonnes in the same months in the previous year, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.
Customs combines data for January and February due to the Lunar New Year holiday, which fell in early February this year.
Expanded domestic meat production came as Beijing quickly rebuilt its pig herd after the deadly African swine fever disease decimated its herd between 2018 and 2019. Pork prices plunged in 2021 thanks to the increased supplies. read more
As domestic prices weakened, imports also declined in the later months of the year. Beijing raised import tariffs on most pork products in 2022, after China reduced its needs for imports. read more
China’s sow herd stood at 42.9 million heads at the end of January, up 2% from the previous year, according to official data, and abundant domestic supplies and low pork prices are set to further weigh on imports in coming months.