China Resumes Pork Imports from Russia, Expanding Bilateral Trade Relations

In a recent announcement, China’s General Administration of Customs revealed plans to import pork from specific regions in Russia that are free from African swine fever. This move is part of a broader trend, as China has been steadily increasing its food imports from Russia over the last 18 months. Chinese Ambassador to Russia, Zhang Hanhui, has expressed the country’s commitment to enhancing cooperation with Russia across various sectors, aiming for a trade turnover of $200 billion this year.

In contrast, the United States, a significant pork exporter, witnessed a decline in its pork exports to China. According to 2022 data from the USDA, China imported 2.15 million tonnes of pork from the U.S., marking a notable decrease from previous years. This reduction is attributed to China’s efforts to boost its domestic pork production, despite continuing to import pork from more than 15 countries.

It’s noteworthy that China had imposed a ban on Russian pork since 2008, as reported by Reuters. However, collaborative efforts between Russia and China since 2013 have led to the lifting of this ban, opening up opportunities for pork imports. Hong Kong, which remained unaffected by the ban, has also seen an uptick in pork imports from Russia in recent months.

This development signifies a strategic shift in China’s pork sourcing strategy and showcases the evolving dynamics of global trade relationships, particularly in the context of the food industry.