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UPDATE 1-China Sept meat imports slightly up on month at 834,000 T - customs

(Adds details of imports)

BEIJING, Oct 13 (Reuters) - China imported 834,000 tonnes of meat in September, customs data showed on Tuesday, slightly higher than last month, as the world’s biggest meat consumer continues to stock up on proteins after a plunge in its pork output.

The large volume compares to August’s imports of 832,000 tonnes and suggests there has been little impact from the suspension of exports by some overseas plants facing coronavirus outbreaks among workers.

Imports for the first nine months of the year are up 72% at 7.41 million tonnes, the General Administration of Customs said.

Customs only began releasing monthly data for all meats combined this year.

China’s pork output fell 19% in the first half of the year after the fatal hog disease African swine fever ravaged its huge hog herd over the last two years.

In a separate statement customs said that pork imports for the first nine months reached 3.29 million tonnes, up 132.2% year on year.

That means September pork imports came to 380,000 tonnes, Reuters calculations show, up from the prior month’s 350,000 tonnes.

Beef imports for the first nine months rose 38.8% year on year to 1.57 million tonnes, added the statement, with Reuters’ calculations giving a September number of 180,000 tonnes. (Reporting by Dominique Patton; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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