China: Meat imports fall by one third
China

Meat imports fall by one third

Imago / VCG
Chinese importers have recently exercised particularly strong restraint in their international purchases of pork.
Chinese importers have recently exercised particularly strong restraint in their international purchases of pork.

CHINA, Beijing. Volumes decline significantly in Q1 2022. Growing in-house production and Corona measures ensure this.

As expected, Chinese meat importers ordered significantly less product from the world market in Q1 2022 than in the same period last year. Growing domestic production and demand shortfalls due to strict Corona measures caused meat imports, including byproducts, to drop 958,000 tons, or 36.5%, to 1.67 million tons compared with January-March 2021, according to the customs administration. In the process, import spending slipped by $1.96 billion, or the equivalent of €1.88 billion, to €6.17 billion. At 23.2%, the decline in value was less than in volume, as some meat had to be purchased at higher prices.

More pork produced

Chinese importers exercised particularly strong restraint in their international purchases of pork. Compared with the first quarter of 2021, the volume purchased fell by a good half to around 690,000 tons. Imports of fresh and frozen products were cut by almost two-thirds to just 420,000 t; the losses for offal were smaller. The 14% increase in pork production in the People's Republic during this period, coupled with weaker demand, were the main reasons for lower import requirements.

Exports from the USA slump

Purchasing restraint was felt by all major suppliers. The United States reported a 56%year-over-year decline in its pork exports to China for the first quarter of 2022, to 101,900 metric tons, while the European Union reported an overall 61 %decline for January and February, to 242,300 metric tons. According to the Animal Protein Association (ABPA), Brazil's shipments of pork to the People's Republic from January to April were down 35 %from the same period last year, to 118,600 t.

Beef also less in demand

China's beef purchases were also curtailed compared to 1Q2021, falling 16% to about 520,000 t. A factor here was likely the significant price increase, in addition to the Corona shutdown at some ports and closed restaurants. Indeed, despite a smaller import volume, import expenditure increased by almost 14% to 3.17 billion euros, more than double that of pork. In addition, China's poultry meat imports slumped 59% from the first quarter of 2021 to 152,800 metric tons; sheep and goat meat imports were down 18% to 101,300 tons.

Source: fleischwirtschaft.de; AgE

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