China pork imports collapse - ISN

Brazil replaces Spain as main supplier
calendar icon 1 May 2024
clock icon 3 minute read

From January to March this year, China imported only half as much pork as in the same period last year, according to a recent market report from ISN, the special interest group for German pork producers. 

Spain in particular had to cope with a significant drop in sales and was replaced by Brazil as a top supplier. Only for secondary slaughter certificates, China shows even greater interest. Here, the reference quantity in the first quarter of 2024 recorded a slight increase compared to the previous year, reports AgE.

In the first quarter of 2024, China introduced more slaughter by-products than fresh and frozen pork for the first time. According to data from the customs administration, the import volume of by-products increased by 1.6% to 276,800 tons compared to the first quarter of 2023. For the pieces of pork, on the other hand, the reference quantity fell by 275,000 tons or 52.1% to only 253,000 tons; this was the lowest quarterly quantity in many years. Overall, China's pork imports, including by-products, decreased by 33.8% to 530,000 tons. Import expenditure fell even more strongly due to lower purchase prices compared to the same quarter of the previous year, namely by EUR 914 million or 46.3% to EUR 1.06 billion.

Brazil replaces Spain as main supplier

In China, pork is not really scarce due to the restrained demand in the course of the year so far. According to a more detailed analysis of the trade data by the umbrella association of the Danish Agriculture and Food Industry (L&F), all suppliers of fresh and frozen pork were felt by this. This was particularly true in the first quarter of 2024 for Spain with a decrease in sales of 49.3% to 67,170 tons compared to the first three months of 2023. The Iberians thus had to hand over their leadership role as the most important supplier to China to Brazil. The South Americans sold 70,660 tons of pork to the People's Republic, but recorded a decrease in volume of 42.0%. Behind them were Canada, the Netherlands and the USA with deliveries of about 18,000 tons each. Compared to the previous year, however, the sales volumes of these countries have more than halved.

USA increase market share

In the case of pig slaughter by-products, the USA was at the top of the most important foreign suppliers in China with delivered 78,640 tons. Sales were increased by 2.4% compared to the first quarter of 2023. If the US market share in this product group was still 22.6% in the first quarter of 2022, it has risen to 28.4% within two years. The winners also included the Spanish exporters, who increased their export of edible slaughter by-products to China by 7.8% to 58,420 tons. However, Canada recorded the strongest relative growth with almost 57% to 28,660 tons. One of the big losers, on the other hand, was Denmark with a drop in sales from a quarter to 27,440 tons. France was able to deliver almost 13% fewer by-products to China, while exporters in Great Britain could look forward to an export increase of 10% to 13,700 tons.

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