China to remain dependent on meat imports
China's pork imports are to rebound next year, as the country's pig inventory is expected to decline by 5% due to ASF outbreaks reported this year and massive slaughtering. The forecast released by USDA says that restocking has been delayed as low prices in the Chinese market have reduced margins for farmers.
"In 2022, China's hog production is forecast to decline by 5%. Low prices and disease outbreaks in 2021 led to significant slaughter and delayed restocking. Pork production in 2022 will decline by 14% as fewer hogs come to market and government policies designed to limit price fluctuations inadvertently undermine expansion. Pork imports will rise to 5.1 million tonnes as consumer demand for pork exceeds domestic production. Cattle and beef production will grow slowly in 2022. High beef prices will encourage investments by large producers. However, small producers with poor herd genetics and space constraints will continue to dominate production. Cattle imports will be stable at 350,000 head. Beef imports will grow to reach 3.3 million tonnes, but at a slower rate, as high beef prices are balanced by more diverse beef suppliers entering the market," reveal the report.
Since the beginning of the year, pig prices in China have dropped by 70% reducing the need for imports. In July, China's pork imports have declined by almost 15% compared with the same month a year ago. Official data released by the Chinese Ministry of agriculture says pig inventory is now at the pre-ASF level. However, the disease continues to impact the sector, with new strains appeared in some provinces, as unapproved vaccines were illegally used in some farms.
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