The Chinese Commerce Ministry says it will look at ways to boost pork imports and will look at releasing frozen pork, beef, and mutton from state reserves. Reuters says the goal is to increase the supply of meat in the domestic market. The moves will come as pork prices hit record highs in China because of the African Swine Fever epidemic that has killed millions of pigs in the country’s herds.
The world’s top pork consumer has seen its hog herd shrink by as much as a third over the past year. Pork prices have soared since June. A Commerce Ministry spokesman says the country will “continue to encourage the expansion of pork imports.”
Imports are up 36 percent over the first seven months of this year. China is looking at other sources for pork beside the U.S. as the trade war continues between the two largest economies in the world. Beijing has agreed to start importing pork from Argentina this year. They’re also expected to approve additional plants for export in Brazil and Great Britain. China also will release some meat from its reserves to help stabilize supplies.