Chinese imports continue to boom
Chinese pork imports more than doubled, compared with the same period a year earlier, in March 2016 to a record 114,700 tonnes, according to the latest figures from China Customs.
The growth in pork imports to China was exceptional in 2015 and shows no signs of slowing down during the first quarter of 2016. The high pork price in China, currently around 280p/kg, is attracting more imports, as the domestic industry is unable to fully capitalise on this positive price movement. Restriction to capital is inhibiting smaller producers from expanding their herds. Increasing environmental legislation is also hampering expansion among larger producers, as they are moved away from coastal areas, where land prices are at a premium, and population centres.
Imports from the EU are continuing to increase, up 93% in Q1 2016 versus the same period a year earlier. All major EU producers, with Germany and Spain dominating the market, have contributed to this growth. Imports from non-EU countries have also increased sharply in the first quarter of 2016, compared with the same period a year earlier. Sixteen processing plants in the US have now been accredited by the Chinese as part of their Ractopamine-free adherence scheme, which frees up a greater volume of pork for export. The depreciation of the Canadian dollar has assisted Canadian export volumes in trebling year on year to 28,300 tonnes in the period January–March 2016.
Vikki Campbell, Senior Analyst
vikki.Campbell@ahdb.org.uk, 024 7647 8741