China May Import More Pork to Ease Shortage, Shanghai JC Says

CHINA - China, the world's biggest pork consumer and producer, may boost imports of the meat after disease reduced the country's pig herds and worsened a supply shortage, Shanghai JC Intelligence Co. said.
calendar icon 7 August 2007
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The country may buy more than 100,000 metric tons through tenders "in the near future", the researcher said in an e- mailed statement. An initial purchase of between 20,000 tons and 30,000 tons, mostly from the U.S., has been concluded, it said, without giving shipment or price details.

China's wholesale pork prices rose 44 percent through the first seven months on reduced supplies, and speculation that the shortfall may lead to increased imports helped push hog futures in Chicago to a three-month high on Aug. 3. About 89,000 hogs in China have been killed by the so-called Blue Ear virus or culled to prevent its spread, the Xinhua News Agency said July 30.

"Given the latest development, total orders will probably be much bigger than what we initially expected," Jenny Chen, a manager at Shanghai JC, said by phone from Shanghai.

Premier Wen Jiabao toured a Beijing produce market over the weekend to show the government is committed to bringing down the prices, the state-owned Xinhua reported.

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