Photo of Chinese pork imports grow in Q1

Bethan Wilkins


AHDB Pork Market Intelligence


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Chinese pork imports grow in Q1

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The most up to date data from Chinese Customs shows a 6% increase in pork imports in the first three months of 2015.

The higher level of imports will help to cover the current dip in Chinese production as a result of the fall in the size of the Chinese breeding herd. This leaves the figure historically high for the first quarter. The EU remains the largest supplier of pork to China, increasing its share of Chinese imports to 72%, with an increase in volume of 23% compared with January-March 2014. Much of the expansion in exports from the EU to China was driven by a large growth in German shipments, as Germany becoming the largest individual country supplier to China, overtaking the US. Supplies from Spain and Denmark also increased by 16% and 3% respectively.


While Chinese imports from the EU increased in the first three months of the year, volumes from the rest of the world declined. Shipments from the US in this period fell 23%, while Canadian volumes were reduced by 37%, as the falling price of pork from the EU made it more competitive on the global market. In addition, North American exports were disrupted by a labour dispute at several ports on the West Coast, which severely reduced capacity. The value of Chinese pork imports in the first quarter of 2015 was up 8% year on year at RMB 1.8 billion. In the same period, Chinese pork exports were up 6% at 20,300 tonnes, with the largest volume going to Hong Kong.

China’s pig offal imports were up 9% in the first three months of the year, at 190,800 tonnes, with the bulk of the increase again coming from the EU. The total share of the Chinese offal market held by the EU grew to two-thirds in the first quarter, with Germany again making large gains. Imports from outside the EU fell 15%, with US shipments down 6%, although it remained the largest individual country supplier to China. The value of offal imports totalled RMB 2.0 billion, up 4% compared with January to March 2014.