Chinese importers have been bringing in huge volumes of meat this year to fill a large domestic supply shortage after African swine fever killed millions of pigs, according to Reuters.
The data does not include the origin of pork, but major suppliers include the United States, Brazil, the European Union and Canada.
The record comes as many countries saw a slowdown in processing earlier this year, creating a backlog of market-ready animals, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Further, China has slowed the import process by instituting coronavirus checks of frozen food containers. For the first half of 2020, China’s pork imports reached 2.65 million metric tons, up from just over one million tons a year ago.
China’s July beef imports reached 210,000 metric tons, and first half 2020 shipments were pegged at 1.2 million metric tons.