China has nearly exhausted its reserves of frozen pork, according to new estimates that underscore the supply shortfall in the world’s top protein market two years after the arrival of African swine fever.
The level of reserves is a state secret in China, the world’s number one producer, consumer and importer of pork. But Enodo Economics, a London-based consultancy focused on China, estimates that reserves fell by about 452,000 tonnes between September 2019 and August this year.
China has less than 100,000 tonnes of pork reserves remaining, says Diana Choyleva, Enodo’s chief economist. “At this rate, within two to three months they’ll be out,” she added.
The numbers back up comments from the US agricultural attaché in Beijing in a recent livestock report on China, which noted that “pork reserves appear to have been mostly depleted by the third quarter of 2020”.