Canadian Pork Shipments to China Delayed by “Paperwork Problem”

Canadian flag ( Farm Journal's MILK )

Although China has not imposed restrictions on Canadian pork, some Canadian pork shipments to China have been delayed by exporters using outdated forms to certify that the cargo meets Chinese requirements, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said on Monday.

Canada continues to ship pork as normal to China despite this shipping glitch that is a “paperwork problem,” said Gary Stordy, spokesman for the Canadian Pork Council in a Reuters article.

The CFIA is not aware of either the Chinese government or its importers causing new delays, the article said. The shipping problem involves different language and formats used between older and current export certificate forms provided by the CFIA.

The Canadian government is urging Canadian exporters to obtain replacement export certificates “on an urgent basis,” as both current shipments and some shipments in transit to China are affected. 

Canada is shipping more pork to China this year as African swine fever (ASF) ravages China’s domestic pig herd. China was Canada’s largest pork export market by volume during the first two months of 2019, buying 59,000 metric tons from Canada, or 23% more than a year ago, Reuters said.

In China, production losses from ASF have eclipsed initial estimates. In 2019, Rabobank expects Chinese pork production losses of 25% to 35%, creating new challenges and opportunities for animal protein exporters.  

“African Swine Fever has spread to every province in mainland China and is now affecting an estimated 150-200 million pigs,” said Christine McCracken, RaboResearch animal protein analyst. “The expected 30% loss in pork production is unprecedented.”

More from Farm Journal’s PORK:

African Swine Fever Losses Cause Export Challenges, Opportunities

China Confirms African Swine Fever on Hainan Island

African Swine Fever Facts You Need to Know