UK pork could fill short term protein gap emerging in China

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) has identified a potential protein gap emerging in China as a result the suspension of Brazilian beef imports, with suggestions that demands for imported pork could increase.

Red meat analyst at AHDB Rebecca Wright said the UK pig industry could potentially benefit again, as it has before, but this will depend upon abattoir staff availability, which is currently challenging the UK’s domestic industry, and a recovery in the number of plants with approved access to the Chinese market.

“Continental Europe currently has plentiful supplies of pork and China may also offer an outlet for some of this pork.,” said Ms Wright. “European exporters have also been suffering from a downturn in Chinese import demand.”

Chart showing the increase in CHinese protein imports over the past four years


She added that the development of the protein gap will depend upon how long the current embargo on Brazilian beef is in place, and how sustained is the recovery in the Chinese pig herd.

At the start of 2019, there was a large surge in Chinese import demand for protein as the market looked to fill the gap left by the decline in pork production due to a mass outbreak of African Swine Fever, however, over the last 12 months Chinese pork production has been recovering which has reduced demand for imported pork.

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