BEIJING, Sept 7 (Reuters) - China imported 758,000 tonnes of meat in August, down 8.9% from the corresponding month a year ago, customs data showed on Tuesday, as weak domestic pork prices weighed on demand for imports.
China has imported 6.69 million tonnes of meat for the first eight months of the year, up 1.7% on last year’s volumes, according to the General Administration of Customs.
August imports were also lower than July’s figure of 854,000 tonnes.
Domestic pork prices PORK-CN-TOT-D have plunged this year, after production surged on efforts to restock and expand farms following an African swine fever epidemic that decimated herds during 2018 and 2019.
With small farmers losing an average 665 yuan ($103.04) per hog during June, according to agriculture ministry data, the government stepped in to prop up prices, buying up pork for its reserves.
Prices slumped again last month, however, and are currently at 18.7 yuan per kilogramme, less than half what they were a year ago.
Beijing said on Monday several provinces have made new purchases for reserves while others are planning to buy pork in the coming months to further support producers. ($1 = 6.4541 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Dominique Patton; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Ana Nicolaci da Costa)
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.