Already the world’s largest pork producer and consumer, China has now achieved the position of world’s leading pork importer, forecast to account for over a quarter of global trade in 2017.
The majority of trade gains have been captured by the EU which retains a 70 percent market share. Ample exportable supplies, low prices, and an advantageous exchange rate have enabled the EU to expand shipments.
Although only accounting for 17 percent of China’s total pork imports, it remains an important market for U.S. exporters. During January- August 2016, China grew to account for 12 percent of total U.S. shipments compared to only 6 percent during the same period 2015. The recent rise in Chinese hog and pork prices will stimulate herd recovery and thus production expansion will be initiated in 2017. This slight increase in domestic supplies will marginally depress import demand.
Both the EU and the United States will be faced with slightly lower shipments to China in 2017. These slight losses will be offset by increases in shipments to other key markets – Japan, Korea and the Philippines for both as well as Mexico for the United States.
October 2016/ FAS-USDA/ United States.