Chinese Meat Imports Hit Monthly Record on Domestic Supply Fears

China imported a record amount of meat in March on supply concerns as hog herds in the world’s biggest pork consumer struggled to recover from African swine fever.

Total imports, including offal, topped 1 million tons, up 44% from February, after new strains of the deadly virus hurt hog numbers, particularly in the north. Shipments have been high for months, with ports unloading a record 10 million tons in 2020, 60% more than a year earlier, to augment local supplies.

Chinese Meat Imports Hit Monthly Record on Domestic Supply Fears

China’s aggressive purchases have encouraged investors to boost bullish bets to the most since November 2017 on Chicago hog futures.

The record arrivals in March added to selling by hog farmers spooked by fresh outbreaks of African swine fever and bans on the transport of live hogs. That sent domestic pork prices spiraling down to the lowest since August 2019. The high imports in March were also driven by record domestic beef prices.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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