China reduces meat purchases in October to its lowest level in 20 months

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China reduces meat purchases in October to its lowest level in 20 months

China’s meat imports in October fell from a year earlier to the lowest level in 20 months, customs data showed on Sunday, as cheap domestic pork reduced demand for supplies abroad.

China saw shipments of 664,000 tonnes of meat in October, down 12.8% compared to the same month last year, according to the General Administration of Customs, the lowest volume since February 2020.

Landings in the first 10 months of 2021 were 8.05m tonnes, down 1.5% from last year’s volumes, the data showed.

October imports also declined from the 694,000 tonnes brought in in September.

Most of China’s meat imports are cuts of pork, but domestic prices have plummeted this year after a surge in production following the devastating African swine fever epidemic overwhelmed demand.

Although pork prices rose in October as colder weather boosted consumption, they are still less than half of what they were at the beginning of the year, or about 21 yuan (US$3.28, R$18 .18) per kilo in wholesale markets.

Beijing has urged farmers to get rid of some sows and not rush to expand based on the recent rally, with overproduction expected to continue into next year.

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