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US pork imports stuck at ports in China

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China has increased inspections of pork imported from the United States, importers and industry sources said. This is the latest American product to be hit by a potentially costly slowdown at Chinese ports in the past couple of weeks.

Some commentators said Beijing was sending a defiant warning to Washington, in response to sweeping US trade demands made on China last week.

This has even hit the world’s largest pork company and owner of Smithfield Foods in the United States. The top importer of US pork said port officials were opening and inspecting every cargo that arrived.

That compared with inspections carried out only “randomly” in the past, he said, significantly lengthening the time products stayed at the port.

The General Administration of Customs in China, which oversees food imports, did not respond to a fax asking for comment.