November 22, 2011
China's meat production to increase in 2012
The USDA has estimated China's 2012 total meat production to climb 3% on-year to 81.4 million tonnes.
Pork production is expected to continue to account for the predominant share, at 63% of total meat output, followed by poultry (23%), beef (7%) and sheepmeat (6%). China's beef production has been forecast to continue its downward trend into 2012, falling 1% on 2011, to 5.5million tonnes, as the cattle herd is anticipated to decline 1% on-year, to 46.2million head.
Contributing to the decreased beef production has been the comparatively poor returns to beef cattle farming relative to swine and poultry farming. The longer production time for beef cattle, combined with continuing high feed prices have created significant disincentives for small producers, who account for the vast majority of China's cattle operations. High labour costs, rising utility bills, transportation, and water expenses have also limited beef production growth potential.
Following the slow domestic beef production, China was expected to increase beef imports by 7% to 45,000 tonnes cwt in 2012. Beef exports were also forecast to increase 4% to 57,000 cwt, fuelled by strong demand in China's traditional markets in Asia.