Pork demand too high for supply for China's National Day holiday

China's supermarkets are topping up their meat counters with frozen pork from state reserves, after prices of the nation's favourite protein source surged to budget-busting levels, threatening to mar this week's National Day festivities.
calendar icon 30 September 2019
clock icon 3 minute read

A drop in the ocean

State sales will have limited impact on prices overall, said Miranda Zhou, an analyst at Euromonitor, with total reserve volumes sold in recent weeks just a "drop in the ocean" in a country that eats about 40 million tonnes of pork a year.

News of the latest sale from state food stores was trending on Weibo, China's popular microblogging site, with many users commenting on how reserve pork had done little to cool prices.

Others questioned the quality of pork that had been in storage, describing it as "zombie meat".

"In addition to the small volumes, in the south they like fresh pork, so frozen pork really isn't appealing," said Zhou, the analyst.

A man shopping in a wet market in downtown Nanning, 2,000 km (1,250 miles) south of the capital, said he had not seen any frozen meat on sale there.

"We don't eat that kind of stuff here," he said. "Even if there was frozen pork, we wouldn't buy it. We only eat fresh meat."

pork in packaging in a supermarket
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