China has again put its spare pork on the market on Tuesday to curb rising prices caused by swine fever on the eve of Lunar New Year, the main holiday of Chinese families.
According to state media, the Chinese government agency that manages frozen pork reserves has announced that it will put 20,000 tonnes on the market. This is the second time China has put frozen pork on the market this month after a first installment of 30,000 tonnes.
The price of pork, a staple of Chinese cuisine, has more than doubled in recent months year-on-year due to an outbreak of African swine fever, which resulted in the slaughter of one third of pigs in the country, official data indicate. .
In 2019, China placed 170,000 tons of pork in stock on the market in seven different lots.
The world's largest consumer of pork, the country has also resorted to imports to suppress the drop in domestic production, benefiting Portuguese producers.
"It is total madness: I venture to say that by 2020 I already have all the pigs sold," Marco Henriques, the commercial director of the Portuguese slaughterhouse Maporal, told Portuguese news agency Lusa last October.
Between December 30 and January 3, the average price of pork in 16 provinces and municipalities of the country reached 45.48 yuan (5.82 euros) per kilogram, a year-on-year increase of 159.7%.
China produces and consumes two thirds of the world's pork. The Government maintains reserves of live and frozen pigs to ensure supply, but details of this reserve are state secrets.
African swine fever is not transmissible to humans, but is fatal to pigs and wild boars. The current outbreak began in Georgia in 2007 and spread across eastern Europe and Russia before reaching China in 2018. Initially, Beijing insisted that everything was under control, but the disease eventually spread to all provinces. from the country.