China's imports of pork in August doubled from a year ago to 350,000 tonnes, customs data showed on Wednesday, as it built its meat stocks to fill a huge shortfall at home.
The imports, however, slowed from the prior month's record of 430,000 tonnes, as coronavirus outbreaks in some plants in major exporting countries reduced the number of plants allowed to ship to China.
Chinese importers have been bringing in huge volumes of meat this year after the African swine fever disease killed millions of pigs in the last two years in the world's top pork producer.
Pork imports from January to August stood at 2.91 million tonnes, up 133.7% on the corresponding 2019 period.
Imports could slow further after China banned shipments from Germany, its third largest supplier, this month following reports of African swine fever in wild boar.
However China's output is expected to pick up after its pig herd grew 31% in August on the year, following major efforts since last year to rebuild the herd.
Domestic pork prices had eased to 44 yuan per kg last week after touching 51 yuan in early July but are still almost double those of the corresponding period last year.
Imports of pork, including offal, came to 450,000 tonnes, bringing the year's total imports through August to 3.83 million tonnes, the data also showed.
Beef imports in August came to 190,000 tonnes, according to customs, up 44.5% on the year, with shipments for the first eight months reaching 1.39 million tonnes.