- Posted by Marina
Imports of pork from China more than doubled in the annual comparison in July, to 430 thousand tons, reaching a record monthly volume, showed customs data, even with new stricter controls on cargo that slowed releases in ports.
Chinese importers have been buying large volumes of meat this year due to a shortage of domestic supplies after an African swine fever epidemic killed millions of pigs.
Still, the data released on Sunday night came as a surprise, after many processing units abroad had been forced to stop or slow production in previous months due to coronavirus infections among workers.
Imports in July exceeded 400,000 tonnes in June, which had been the highest in the year so far.
"Considering that the US and Europe had suspensions or slower production in May, this is really incredible," said Pan Chenjun, an analyst at Rabobank.
China has asked units abroad since June to stop shipments if they have cases of coronavirus among workers, even with experts saying there is no evidence that the virus can be transmitted through food.
The Chinese government has also started testing coronavirus in frozen food containers, which has slowed the release of goods in ports.
Between January and July, pork imports reached 2.56 million tons, against just over 1 million the previous year.
Beef imports in July totaled 210 thousand tons, according to customs data, with shipments in the first seven months reaching 1.2 million tons.