In the first seven months of 2019, pork and pig offal exports from Spain to China reached USD561.4 million (€606.1 million), according to the data provided by the Chinese Customs. This entails 63% more than in the same period in 2018, when Spain exported 332.2 tonnes worth €487.5 million.
In 2018, Spain was the second exporter, behind Germany and ahead of Brazil, Canada and The Netherlands. If this trend continues, Spain could end 2019 with figures around USD1 billion of pork exports to China.
With these figures, Spain reaches the first place as supplier of pork and pig offal to China, ahead of Germany, that sold USD495.5 million worth of these products from January to July 2019.
The reason for this evolution of sales is, in the first place, the drop in production in China because of the African swine fever epidemics notified in early August 2018, that has caused a fall in the pig census due to the compulsory cullings, as well as the shrinkage in investments in the sector because of the uncertainties caused by the evolution of the disease and the not very clear politics regarding the measures for fighting the disease, specially regarding the compensations for the compulsory cullings.
Therefore, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China estimated, last spring, that the sow census had fallen by 21%, and last August this estimation reached 27%, this allowing to predict that the recovery of production is still far away. On the other hand, the commercial war with the USA has relegated the shippings from America. Besides, China totally prohibited Canadian meat exports due to the health certificates falsification scandal, and therefore, the gap left by North America has had to be filled with imports from other countries.
The prices in the Chinese market have been rising slowly during the first half of 2019, but the increase has speeded up much in August. In March the prices were around RMB19/kg (€2.41), a figure that rose, by early August, to RMB25/kg (€3.17), and that reached RMB36.4/kg (€4.62) by late August, reaching the highest historic price. The Chinese government has announced the release to market of the meat stored as a reserve for situations of scarcity, both in the case of pork, beef and lamb, and has announced measures to relaunch production. The Chinese government has also announced that new aids to the producers shall be implemented, the insurance coverage will be increased, the use of good quality semen will be subsidised, and the compensations for the compulsory culling because of ASF will be paid within 3 months (instead of within 6 month, like until now).
Thursday, September 12th, 2019/ Foreign News-Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food/ Spain.