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November 8, 2017

 

China's falling pork imports pose great challenge to foremost supplier EU

 

 

China's falling imports could prove particularly challenging for the EU pork market, which supplies two thirds of China's pork imports, the AHDB Pork said.

 

"This could especially be the case as US production expands, which may increase competition for market space", the pork division of the levy body UK Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board explained.

 

The Chinese pork import market fell behind the exceptional performance of 2016 in recent months, although it is still well above 2015 levels.

 

In the third quarter, shipments of fresh/frozen pork to China were substantially down a 50% on year-earlier levels, at 258,000 tonnes. Virtually all suppliers were affected, with German shipments declining 63% and those from Spain around a third less than during the same period last year.
 

The UK shipped a modest 1% less according to Chinese customs. (According to available data from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs [HMRC], UK pork exports to China still recorded year-on-year growth.)

 

AHDB Pork cited the latest USDA forecasts anticipating a 24% year-on-year decline in Chinese pork imports for 2017, and a further 3% decline in 2018. Shipments in the first three quarters stood 28% behind year-earlier levels, and this suggests there may be some stabilisation of volumes in the final quarter, AHDB Pork said. This jibes with the Rabobank's fourth-quarter report on global pork that says China's declining pork imports is expected to rebound in the fourth quarter.

 

China's import fall is attributed to some recovery in domestic production. Compounding the increasing production is what is perceived to be the stagnating consumer demand, according to AHDB Pork.

 

"Middle class urban consumers are reportedly switching away from pork towards beef, lamb and seafood. Hence, pork's market share is expected to decline moving forwards", it said. —Rick Alberto
 
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