China's pork imports in March nearly tripled from last year to fill the internal gap

BEIJING: China's imports in March nearly tripled from last year, customs data showed Tuesday, when buyers tried to close a huge supply gap after African swine fever decimated the country's massive herd.

China, the world's largest consumer, brought in 391,000 tonnes of pork in March, up from 127,218 tonnes in March 2019, according to Reuters calculations based on customs data.

Shipments in the first quarter reached 951,000 tons, almost twice more than in the same period last year, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

The deadly African swine fever disease has reduced at least 40% of China's pig herd and has reduced its sow inventory by up to 60% in 2019, reducing pork production and sending meat prices down. the country's favorite at record levels.

China had brought 560,000 tons of pork in the first two months of 2020, 158% more than the previous year. (