AGRIBUSINESS | Staff Reporter, China

China's meat imports buck slowing trend in other agricultural produce

It beats Japan as world's largest pork importer this year.

Contrary to other agricultural imports, which are proving weak in 2016 thus far, China's meat imports are reaching record levels in 2016 due to local production issues.

Moving forward, BMI expects import demand for pork, beef and poultry meat to remain robust in 2017.

Here's more from BMI:

Local meat production has been struggling to expand for several years and China has been recording weaker output growth than its global and Asian counterparts, in particular.

We forecast output to remain well below consumption levels in 2017. Local production is under pressure due to a myriad of factors including elevated production costs (beef), stricter production regulations (pork) and the import ban on grandparent stocks imposed in 2015 (poultry).

Although pork production will reaccelerate in 2017, incentivised by the pickup in pork prices and the sharp decrease in local feed prices stemming from the ongoing changes to the country's grain policy, production will remain well below consumption.

Meanwhile, poultry output will remain constrained by the lack of grandparent stocks and will decline for a second consecutive year in 2017.

As a result of these domestic challenges, China will import record volumes of pork, beef and close to record volumes of poultry meat in 2016 and 2017.

The country turned into the world's largest pork importer in 2016, bypassing Japan, and will be second only to the US regarding beef imports. 

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