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Monthly import of meat products in China 2019-2020

In October 2020, animal meat product imports to China amounted to approximately 2.15 billion U.S. dollars, around 24 percent more than in the same month of the previous year. Total meat imports exceeded 15 billion U.S. dollars in the first half of 2020.

Meat import overview

China is the world’s largest meat producer and importer. In 2019, nearly 76.5 million metric tons of meat was produced in the country, over a half of which was pork. However, to meet the national demand, China imported almost two million tons of pork, 1.7 million tons of beef, 0.8 million tons of poultry meat, and 0.4 million tons of mutton and lamb in 2019 alone. The import figures indicated a steep growth for all meat types, especially pork. This was partially due to a recent outbreak of African swine fever in China and worldwide. Also, given China’s limited water and land reserves necessary for livestock farming, meat imports are likely to continue to rise.

What is African swine fever?

African swine fever is a viral and usually fatal animal disease which affects domestic pigs and wild boars. The first outbreak of this disease was officially reported in 1907. However, the virus causing it had evolved hundreds of years earlier. In mid-2018, a particularly virulent strain of African swine fever was detected in China and was later reported in Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, South Korea, other Asian countries as well as Australia and Europe. The disease was expected to kill around a quarter of the world’s pig population and an even larger proportion of China’s hog herd. Naturally, the crisis inflated the global pork prices and boosted imports in countries such as China, where pork has long been the most consumed type of meat.

China's monthly import of meat products from October 2019 to October 2020

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Release date

November 2020



Survey time period

October 2019 to October 2020

Supplementary notes

*Figures for January and February have been grouped together to curb the influence of the Chinese New Year on the statistic. Chinese New Year falls between January 21 and February 21.

Figures have been rounded.

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Statistics on "Imports to China"

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