CHINA, Beijing. China’s dwindling pace of meat imports, thanks to its tough measures against coronavirus contamination, will provide further support for prices already buoyed by a severe shortage of pork, analysts said.
Purchases of pork and other meats have soared this year after domestic production shrank 30% following an outbreak of African swine fever that devastated China’s hog herd, but the recent anti-contamination measures threaten to reduce imports. Beijing has suspended imports from more than 20 overseas plants processing pork, beef and poultry since mid-June, after workers were infected with the virus.
While hundreds of other plants retain their approvals to ship to China, the virus tests are delaying port clearances for containers. Imports had already begun to slow after prices weakened in China during March and April and exporters battled virus outbreaks. Analysts blame tight supply for much of the rise as consumption begins to recover.