November 8, 2017
China's falling pork imports pose great challenge to foremost supplier EU
"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.
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.