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Overview of the Chinese Pork Industry

Date:19-11-2013

The pork industry in China is the largest in the world. In fact, China is the largest consumer and producer of pork in the world. Over the years, there has been increase in the demand for pork in the domestic market. Although China had maintained self-sufficiency in pork production, since 2007, there has been increase in import of pork and pork-related products. In 2012, the output volume of pork in China was 53.35 million tons which accounted for 63.63% of the total output volume of meat in the country. The output volume of pork increased by 5.6% year-on-year in China. Despite the increase in production volume of pork in China, the market is still unable to fulfill its domestic needs. In 2012, China imported 522,000 tons of pork which represented an 11.7% increase from the previous year.

Future of the Pork Industry in China
The increase in the demand for pork is fueled by increase in population, change in lifestyle, increased affluence of the Chinese middle class and rise in disposable income. China has to increase its meat output dramatically to meet the growing demand of the population. According to the chairman of China’s Swine Industry Association, Yao Minpu, the meat consumption of the Chinese population is forecasted to increase from 105 g per capita per day in 2012 to 110 g per capita per day in 2020.

Pig raising in China is conducted by three categories of producers. These are small-scale farms, specialized farms and commercial farms. In recent years, the number of small scale farmers in the pig raising sector has decreased. Higher production cost, market uncertainties, high feed prices and problems in pig diseases were some of the factors that have influenced the exodus of small scale farmers in the pork industry. This has in turn fueled the growth of large scale commercial pig farms in China. The largest pork production areas in China are Shandong, Guangdong, Sichuan, Hunan, Henan and Hubei.

Some of the issues that are plaguing the growth of the pork industry in China are food safety, pork pricing and production safety. Despite these issues, the outlook of the Chinese pork market is quite positive.

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