China the Problem... But is Also the Solution

by 5m Editor
27 February 2008, at 9:36am

UK - China’s pork imports last year were 44 per cent up on 2006, according to United States estimates. A further 15 per cent increase is expected this year, says the NPA.

While China’s voracious appetite for wheat is contributing to the feed cost crisis in the European pig industry, it will also provide a partial solution, by taking pigmeat off the world market.

USDA observers says that during the next ten years Hong Kong and China will move from five to three in the league table of pork importers. The world’s largest pork importers in 2017 will be Japan, Russia, Hong Kong and China, South Korea and Mexico. Largest growth markets for imports will be Russia, up 28 per cent; Korea, up 30 per cent; China, up 105 per cent; Mexico up 30 per cent; and Japan up eight per cent.

Only a handful of countries can legally export pork to China, including the United States, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy (Parma Ham only) and Ireland. However, a number of countries - including Britain - are working hard to gain access to this important market.

In addition to the United States, Canada and Denmark, the largest suppliers include Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Belgium and Spain.

Pork continues to lead China’s per capita meat consumption. The ratio of pork, poultry, beef, mutton and other livestock product consumption is 64 percent, 19 percent, 9 percent, 6 percent and 2 percent respectively.

For the nation as a whole, most pork is eaten at home. However, China’s foodservice industry is growing rapidly (over 15 percent a year) and frequency of meals consumed outside the home is increasing, especially in major cities.

Further Reading

- To read our report on US pork market predictions click here.

5m Editor