In the past, pork imports would decline during summer, as it is the traditional slack season of pork consumption in China. However, due to the impact of African swine fever virus this year, China's pig capacity and inventories decreased significantly. Since March, pork imports have shown a more obvious growth trend than in the same period of previous years. Chinese customs data showed that China's imports of pork and offal from the US in May jumped to the highest level in a year, surpassing the level before China imposed 62% retaliatory tariffs on US pork exports last July. China imported 160,467 tons of pork in June 2019, down 14.40% from the previous month, but still up 62.80% from a year earlier, with an increase of 61,901 tons from the same period last year, according to the latest data released by the General Administration of Customs.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture of the People's Republic of China, China will continue to import pork from the United States and other countries as the spread of the African swine fever virus reduces the number of live pigs in the country, tightening the nation's meat supply and driving pork prices. By the end of this June, a total of 143 cases of African swine fever had been reported in China, with more than 1.16 million pigs being culled. The State Council of the People’s Republic of China, has ordered relevant government departments to take measures to stop the spread of the disease and help restore breeding pig inventories in China. As things stand, China will continue to import pork to fill the supply gap, which will be a huge business opportunity for foreign pork producers.