Falling prices, COVID-19 fears curb China’s appetite for imported pork

By Tom Johnston on 11/19/2020

Falling domestic pork prices and consumers’ concerns around COVID-19-contaminated food have begun to curb China’s demand for foreign pork, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

The development comes as China restocks a domestic pig herd nearly halved by African swine fever since an outbreak began there in August 2018.

Beijing went on a big buying spree to shore up supplies; imports in the first 10 months of the year were $25.4 billion, up 75% from the same period in 2019.

But October volumes fell to levels not seen since February, WSJ reports, citing government data.

Wholesale pork prices in China have fallen 18% since early September, to some $2.75 per pound, a level slightly lower than a year ago, according to the report, citing Wind, a Chinese financial data source. Analysts expect prices to fall further next year as China continues its rebuilding efforts.

Another headwind, meanwhile, is growing consumer concerns about COVID-19 as Chinese customs officials claim imported meat could be contaminated with the virus. Beijing has conducted massive inspections and tests of food imports, and called for foreign suppliers to certify that their plants and products are COVID-free, banningsome of them in the process.

Read the full WSJ report here.

Source : Meating Place