Pigmeat imports into China in 2016 as a whole may not reach the same level experienced in 2015, according to AHDB Pork.
This note of caution for EU exporters is based on forecasts that the size of the Chinese pig herd will increase in the second half of 2016 as domestic producers are attracted to the market by high wholesale pig prices in the country.
The downturn warning on 2016 trade is also a reflection of the fact that 2015 was an “exceptional year” for pork imports to China, exacerbated by the significant rationalisation of the Chinese herd in the first half of the year. That resulted in Chinese pork imports increasing by 38% in 2015, compared with 2014, totalling 778,000 tonnes.
The trade was particularly good for EU exporters who saw sales to China rise by 57%, compared to 2014, with 580,000 tonnes of pigmeat being exported to the country, representing almost three-quarters of the EU’s export total.
In suggesting that exports in 2016 won’t be as good, AHDB Pork also drew attention to the current slowdown in Chinese economic growth.