CHINA, Beijing. China imported 1.6 mill. t of meat in the first two months of the year, customs data showed, up 27.6% from the same period a year earlier, as the world's biggest consumer of animal protein stocked up to fill a domestic shortage.
Shipments rose from last year's 1.26 mill. t after China's output of pork, its staple meat, remained affected by an outbreak of African swine fever that began in 2018. China's pork output fell 3.3% in 2020 after plunging 21% the prior year, boosting meat imports to a record high, while imports were also impacted by Covid-19 quarantines.
Domestic pork prices slumped in October before rising strongly in late November ahead of February's Lunar New Year holiday, making cheaper imported meat more attractive.