Pork rib prices soar in China following the ban on German pig meat imports

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The cost of China’s much-loved pork rib dishes is soaring after Beijing suspended imports of pig meat from major supplier Germany, hurting restaurants still recovering from the coronavirus hit earlier this year.

Pork ribs are one of China’s best-selling menu items but many restaurants specializing in the cut rely on imports, which can be up to 10 times cheaper than local supplies.

Germany was among the biggest suppliers of ribs to China until it confirmed its first case of African swine fever, an incurable hog disease, earlier this month.

After Beijing halted all German pork imports, prices of frozen ribs have surged, say restaurant owners, eroding profits just as customers finally reach normal levels after the coronavirus epidemic.

The price rise also comes after domestic pork hit eye-watering levels last year as China’s production plunged because of its own African swine fever outbreaks.

China, which produces about half the world’s pork, has boosted imports by 134% in the first eight months of this year to partly offset its shortfall.

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