Sunday, January 3, 2021

China Released 670,000 MT Reserve Pork in 2020

China's release of 70,000 metric tons of national pork reserves in December 2020 brought the 2020 total to 670,000 metric tons. A total of 38 sales were held during 2020 as authorities sought to bring record-high prices under control. Reserve sales during 2019 totaled 170,000 metric tons during September and December--ahead of major holidays--as pork prices first began to soar. Releases were 20,000 metric tons in most weeks from December 2019 to September 2020 as pork prices remained stubbornly high.

Sources: China commodity reserve management company announcements
and China Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

All of the national pork reserves released during 2019-20 were sales of imported frozen pork. Sales of reserves in 2019 of 170,000 mt equaled 8.5 percent of China's 2 million metric tons (mmt) of imports (harmonized system code 0203) and the 670,000 metric tons of reserves sold in 2020 equaled 17 percent of 2020 imports which will be more than 4 mmt. Authorities dialed back their sales of "reserves" in mid-2020, and the December 2020 sales came after a 2-month pause as prices staged another rebound ahead of the solar and lunar new year holidays. However, overall imports remained robust with over 300,000-to-350,000 mt per month during August-November. The amount of pork released from "reserves" during December 2020 was 70,000 mt -- half the amount released in December 2019 -- but pork imports during the month were probably about 70,000 mt higher than a year earlier. 
Source: China customs statistics.

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