UPDATE 1-China meat imports drop 36% on year in April – customs

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Source: Reuters

China imported 592,000 tonnes of meat in April, down 35.7% from the same month a year earlier, customs data showed on Monday, as a surge in domestic pork output curbed appetite for shipments from abroad.

Imports have also been impacted by strained logistics caused by an extended COVID-19 lockdown in Shanghai.

Meat imports for the first four months of the year were down 36% on a year before at 2.26 million tonnes, according to the data, released by the General Administration of Customs.

Demand for imported pork has slumped this year after Chinese hog farmers increased breeding to compensate for losses caused by African swine fever in recent years.

The surge in supply has come as demand has suffered from closure of restaurants across the country to contain China’s worst COVID-19 outbreak in two years.

Imports of beef have also slowed due to the lockdown in Shanghai, the country’s key port for beef arrivals.

Traders rely on Shanghai’s ideal location for distributing product around the country, but since rise in COVID-19 cases forced a lockdown in the city at the end of March, moving chilled or frozen products has become a costly headache.