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Slowing Chinese Pork Imports Expected to Challenge North America in 2017

7 December 2016, at 12:00am

US - The President of Global AgriTrends anticipates a substantial slowdown of Chinese of pork imports will create challenges for the North American pork industry in 2017, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Over the last two to three years we've seen good some good profitability globally in the pork sector and that profitability has triggered expansion.

Brett Stuart, the President of Global AgriTrends, says we're seeing a little bit of expansion in Canada in the hog sector, we're seeing expansion in the United States, we've seen some substantial expansion in the EU and, to some degree, we're seeing expansion in Mexico and China so, with that production base growing, the focus turns to demand and where will that pork get eaten.

Brett Stuart-Global AgriTrends:

We've just seen a incredible protein event the last year and a half with China. China is always the buzz.

China is the market of the future and we know the China math of 1.3 billion times anything is a big number.

We saw a scenario where China got tight on pork. They imported enormous amounts of pork this last year.

In fact I think at the peak they were importing about 190 thousand tonnes a month. That's over 400 million pounds a month.

We saw that huge China import bubble.

The challenge is now we're starting to see that bubble burst and so we're seeing a little bit of a slowdown in Chinese demand for pork and that's going to play out in 2017.

As we see their production growth, we don't know how much it is but we know they've made incredible profits.

We'll have to see how much that market slows down. I'm forecasting Chinese pork imports down by about a third next year.

That will displace pork, it'll make the EU prices fall and probably push a lot of EU pork into some of our key markets.

Mr Stuart says the North American pork industry is going to have to get creative this year as we try to move pork against a slowing Chinese base.

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