China's meat imports have boomed in May
The ASF crisis in China is leading to higher imports of meat and offals., according to the Customs Administration data. In May, there was a 45% increase in meat imports to China, reaching a volume of 556,300 tonnes (offals too). Pork was the main animal protein imported in the first five months of the year, accounting for 658,240 tonnes from a total of 2.22 million tonnes of meat imports.
Still, beef was the meat that had the largest increase in imports in the first 5 months of the year, 51%, reaching a total of 563,840 tonnes. Imports of sheep and goat meat have grown by 24% (182,670 tonnes) and chicken meat was up 40% (276,530 tonnes).
The imports would have been probably higher if there wasn't a trade war between Washington and Beijing that lead to tariffs up to 65% for American pork and almost 50% for the US beef. In June, China also suspended all pork imports from Canada after residues of ractopamine in the meat and forged documents were found.
This week, Bi Kexin, Director General of the Import and Export Food Safety Bureau under China’s General Administration of Customs, held a meeting with exporters from almost 30 countries to ask them to comply with the country's regulations for meat imports.
According to several analysts, the volumes of meat imported by China are expected to rise in the following month as the ASF outbreaks have reduced the national pig herd by more than 25%. China's demand for pork has increased the price for pig meat in the global market, with the EU, the main supplier in this market, witnessing an increase of almost 30% in prices.