China pork and pig offal import report 2018 with forecasts for 2019-2023

CHINA - With the development of China's economy and the improvement of living standards, pork consumption in China is rising
calendar icon 8 January 2019
clock icon 4 minute read

China is the largest pork producer in the world. But pig breeding is costly in China because it is vulnerable to swine fever and fluctuations in feed prices, which makes it difficult for pork output to grow steadily. Meanwhile, residents in some parts of the country enjoy consuming pig offal. Therefore, the overall import volume of pork and pig offal shows an upward trend.

The Chinese government has strict inspection and quarantine policies on the import of pork products. In November 2018, only 16 countries or regions including the US, Canada, Brazil, Chile and Mexico were allowed to export pork products to China. The Chinese government has set no import quota for pork products from these countries, which means that import companies only need to pay tariffs and value-added taxes.

Thanks to the Sino-Chilean free trade agreement, China gives special privilege to the import of Chilean pork. When importing Chilean pork products such as bone-in pork and deboned pork, a Chinese enterprise only needs to pay 11 percent value-added tax on the import value. On the pork imports from the other countries, China levies tariffs and value-added taxes according to product type. Relatively speaking, the taxes on bone-in pork and deboned pork are lighter while the taxes on deboned pickled pork are heavier.

In 2017, the import volume of pork in China was about 1,217,000 tonnes, lower than that in 2016 but higher than that from 2013 to 2015. From 2013 to 2017, the annual import value of pork in China all exceeded USD$1 billion. In 2017, it was $2.22 billion, lower than that in 2016. The decline was mainly caused by shrinking import volume. As the major sources of China's pork imports, in 2017, Spain, Germany, the US, Canada, Denmark and the Netherlands exported 961,000 tonnes of pork in total to China, contributing about 80 percent to China's pork imports.

As residents in some parts of China include pig offal in their diets, China also imports a large quantity of pig offal every year. In 2017, the import volume of pig offal in China was about 1,236,000 tonnes, exceeding that of pork. As the major sources of China's pig offal imports, in 2017, the US, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Canada and the Netherlands exported 1,059,000 tonnes of pig offal in total to China, contributing more than 80 percent to China's pig offal imports.

In 2017, as the third largest source of China's pork imports, the US exported about 170,000 tonnes of pork to China, accounting for 14 percent of China's pork imports; as the largest source of China's pig offal imports, the US exported about 416,000 tonnes of pig offal to China, accounting for about one-third of China's pig offal imports. In 2018, with the escalation of the Sino-US trade war, US exports of pork and pig offal to China dropped significantly from 2017.

According to this analysis, China's annual pork consumption is around 55 million tonnes, and has grown slowly in recent years. In 2017, pork imports were less than 3 percent of pork consumption. Rising pig breeding costs and stricter environmental policies have forced many small and medium-sized pig farms to close down, and swine fever occurs frequently. These factors discourage growth of pork output in China. It is expected that from 2019 to 2023, the import volume of pork and pig offal in China will continue to rise, and China's pork market will receive attention from pig farmers and pork traders all over the world.

This report was provided by Research and Markets; click here for more details and to read the full report

Ryan Johnson

Editor at The Poultry Site

Ryan worked in conservation from 2008 to 2017, during which time he operated a rainbow trout hatchery and helped to maintain public and protected green spaces in Canada for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. As editor of The Poultry Site, he now writes about challenges and opportunities in agriculture across the globe.

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