For many years, official meat demand in China is suspected to be underestimated. Yet, there is not enough empirical evidences for how much the disparity is. Also, as changes in Chinese meat demand may have significant effects on meat supply in both domestic and international markets, considering the nation’s 1.3 billion population, factors influencing meat consumption remain unclear. Research jointly conducted by a top Chinese research institute and several land-grant universities in the US have made successful progress in response to these concerns. The major results indicate that the missing meat consumption utilization is mainly from the increasing dining-out meat consumption, which is, in essence, excluded from the National Bureau of Statistics of China. In addition to expected positive income effects, the results also show that family composition and household time constraint are two important factors affecting meat consumption in urban China although there are some variations by region and meat products.
Average monthly meat consumption per capita was about 6kg in the summer period when we conducted these surveys, with Chengdu leading at 7.28kg and followed by Beijing (5.98kg) and Nanjing (5.87kg).
Pork, as a primary protein source for Chinese, is leading all kinds of meats in all three cities. Per capita consumption of pork is 3kg in Beijing and Nanjing, and 4.27kg in Chengdu.
Per capita poultry consumption is approximately half of pork consumption in Beijing. It is slightly higher (60%) in Nanjing and lower in Chengdu (38%). Following poultry is beef.
In all three cities, it is noted that meat consumption for food away from home (FAFH), which is essentially missed in the NBS data, accounts for a significant part of overall meat consumption. In Beijing, the percentage of meat consumed away from home is 34%, which leads Nanjing by 10% and Chengdu by12%. Also, the dining out proportion of consumed meat differs by meat categories, ranging approximately from 20% to 50% if we forget other meats such as rabbit meat and donkey meat.
February 2012/ FAS-USDA/United States.