The U.S. ag attache in China says public health concerns will limit growth in pork consumption in 2014, although it expects Chinese pork imports to expand by 3% from last year to 790,000 MT and live swine imports are expected to rise by 5% due to desires to improve genetics.
"With regards to pork, despite higher-than-expected production and imports, China’s 2014 pork consumption may only increase by one percent to 41 kilograms per capita," says the attache. "Public health concerns continue to linger over last year’s ‘floating dead pig’ incident, when over 10,000 head of swine were found dead and floating in Shanghai’s Huangpu River. These concerns continue to have a negative impact on consumer purchase decisions related to pork."
The attache says despite record pork production, imports in 2014 will climb by 2% from last year to 790,000 MT. "The United States is China’s largest pork supplier; however, U.S. market share faces serious competition from Germany, China’s second largest supplier. The U.S. export market share dropped from 54% in 2011 to 36% in 2012 and continued downward to 21% in 2013. Meanwhile, Germany’s export market share increased from five percent to 20% over the last three years. This is partly due to Germany’s competitive pork prices and China’s ractopamine restrictions on U.S. pork exports," states the attache.
The attache says due to poultry safety concerns, consumers are turning more to pork and beef, which is supporting domestic prices and therefore beef herd expansion. The attache has raised its forecast for 2014 beef imports to 550,000 MT, with Australia, Uruguay and New Zealand the top three suppliers.
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