Pork trade: Chinese imports down sharply
Pork trade

Chinese imports down sharply

Imago / VCG
For exporters of pork, China has become less attractive.
For exporters of pork, China has become less attractive.

GERMANY, Bonn. China's imports of pork fell by more than half in the first half of 2022 compared with the same period last year. Demand for offal was relatively stable.

According to preliminary data from the Customs Administration, import volumes decreased by about 1.6 million t, or 54%, to 1.35 million t. Import expenditure is even reported to have fallen by almost 64% to 2.93 billion US dollars (2.86 billion euros); prices on the pig market in the People's Republic were comparatively low for much of the period under review. The reason for the slump in volumes purchased was higher in-house production. In the first half of the year, China's pork production increased 8.2% year-on-year to 29.4 million t, according to government data.

As a more detailed analysis of trade data by the Danish Agriculture and Food Federation (Landbrug & Fødevarer, L&F) shows, Chinese importers were particularly reluctant to buy fresh, chilled and frozen pork. This commodity item saw a year-on-year decrease of 64.2% to 799,000 tons, down from 2.23 million t in January-June 2021. In contrast, imports of pork offal were "only" reduced by 13.5% to 512,900 t.

All pork exporters have suffered sharp sales declines in China so far this year. This also affected Spain, which remained the top supplier with a total of 343,400 t, but saw exports fall by 523,800 t, or 60.4%. While exports of chilled and frozen products fell by 68.2% to 229,000 t, the drop in slaughter by-products was smaller at 22% to 114,300 t.

Denmark and the Netherlands also saw sharp declines in their exports of chilled and frozen pork to the People's Republic, down 60.6 and 73.7%, respectively. However, the Danes were one of the few suppliers to manage to sell more offal to China, with volumes up 7.6% on the first half of 2021 to 83,500 t. In the US, shipments of fresh pork slumped 78.2% year-on-year to 59,300 t; Brazil fared more smoothly, down 35.8% to 166,600 t.

Source: fleischwirtschaft.de; AgE

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