UPDATE 1-China to sell 30,000 tonnes of frozen pork from reserves for the holidays

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HONG KONG, Dec 31 (Reuters) - China said on Tuesday it will sell 30,000 tonnes of frozen pork from its state reserves on Jan. 3, in the latest move to ensure supplies ahead of the upcoming Lunar New Year holidays.

The move, announced in a notice posted on the website of the China Merchandise Reserve Management Center, followed a previous sale of 20,000 tonnes of frozen pork from state reserves on Dec. 27.

Amid a huge shortage of meat in the country, after the incurable pig disease African swine fever killed millions of the country’s hogs and the pig herd shrank by more than 40%, China will release more frozen pork from its reserves ahead of the upcoming holidays, state-owned CCTV reported on Monday, citing the Ministry of Commerce.

Beijing has already released more than 100,000 tonnes of frozen pork from state reserves since mid-December, Wang Bin, deputy director of the market operation department under the Ministry of Commerce said, according to CCTV.

Analysts expect pork will remain in high demand as China prepares to celebrate the Lunar New Year starting on Jan. 25, the peak consumption period for the meat. (Reporting by Meg Shen; Editing by Louise Heavens)