BEIJING (Reuters) - China imported 400,000 tonnes of pork in June, customs data showed on Thursday, up 128.4% from the same month a year earlier, as a months-long buying spree continued as importers try to help plug a domestic shortage.
China’s pork output declined by about a fifth in the first half of 2020 after an epidemic of African swine fever killed millions of pigs in the country last year.
The imports mark the fourth straight month of pork shipments of around 400,000 tonnes, double the volume of earlier records.
January to June pork imports were up 142.7% at 2.12 million tonnes.
Imports of pork including offal in June came to 540,000 tonnes, up 102.5% from a year earlier, bringing total imports for this year to end-June to 2.82 million tonnes, the data also showed.
Customs had earlier this month highlighted the huge meat imports in June.
Intake is expected to fall in coming months, however, after China started testing containers of frozen food for the presence of the coronavirus, slowing the trade.
China has also suspended imports from dozens of overseas suppliers after coronavirus outbreaks among workers.
Beef imports including offal in June were 180,000 tonnes, up 31.2% from a year earlier, said customs, with shipments for first-half 2020 reaching 1.01 million tonnes. Offal made up only a fraction of the combined imports.
Reporting by Dominique Patton and Beijing newsroom; Writing by Shivani Singh; Editing by Tom Hogue