China official admits that meat imports will continue to rise
Meat imports in China are on the rise, as Gao Feng, spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, admitted at the end of last week. At this point, China has already imported 1.11 million tonnes of meat in the first three months of the year to cover a gap created by the ASF virus in its swine sector.
The volume is up by 11.6% from what the Asian country used to import in the first quarter of 2018 when the disease was absent from the country.
The need for pork in the Chinese market is so high that importers are willing to pay up to 65% in duties for the US pig meat. Even so, some pig meat imports from the US did not enter China, due to "quarantine standards", as the official mentioned.
China recently canceled import order for up to 1,000 tonnes of US pork but Gao Feng said that "Chinese companies make their own decisions as to whether to import pork from the US or not".
Germany, Spain, the US, Canada, Denmark, Brazil, Netherland, and France are among the major sources of China's pork imports, according to data from Chinese customs.
Recently, the Brazilian minister of Agriculture informed that 6 more meat plats from its country have received clearance to export to China. 24 other plants are to be evaluated further by the Chinese inspectors. Brazil currently has 16 beef plants, nine hog plants and between 37 and 39 chicken plants authorized to export into China. Gao Feng added that he expects the country will continue to increase meat imports over the rest of the year as the Chinese national pig inventory is expected to drop by 30% this year.