German pork exports to China more than doubled in H1, before swine fever hit

BERLIN, Sept 16 (Reuters) - German pork exports to China more than doubled in the first half of this year, the Federal Statistics Office said on Wednesday, highlighting the likely impact of a ban on pork imports there after Germany confirmed its first case of African swine fever.

Germany sold 233,300 tonnes of pork to China in the first six months of this year, equivalent to some 26.8% of total exports of the meat. That made China Germany's biggest export market for hog meat, overtaking Italy, said the Office.

One reason for booming demand from China is the African swine fever there that has been spreading there since August 2018, drastically reducing pig stocks and increasing demand on the world market, said the Office.

Overall, Germany sold 870,700 tonnes of pork - worth 2.4 billion euros ($2.84 billion) - abroad, added the Office. However, pig farming in Germany has fallen by 3.9% in the last decade, it said.

China's ban on pork imports from Germany due to African swine fever is set to hit German producers and push up global prices as China's meat supplies tighten. Other pork buyers have also banned imports.

After the first case was detected last week in Germany, the government of the eastern state of Brandenburg said on Tuesday initial tests pointed to a further five cases of African swine fever in wild boars. ($1 = 0.8439 euros) (Reporting by Madeline Chambers Editing by Michelle Adair)

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