Chinese pork market the world's largest for consumption and production values

Press Release   •   Jun 24, 2013 10:00 BST

As China is the world's largest pork consumer, the development of its pork industry attracts worldwide attentions. Generally, China pork output volume presented an increasing trend from 2001 to 2012, with a decline only in 2007 and 2011.

China is by far the world's largest consumer and producer of pork and has maintained self-sufficiency over the years.

Pork is the most popular meat in China as it forms more than three-fourths of total meat consumption in the country. The nation produced more than half the world's total pork in 2012, while consumers spent around $183 billion consuming it. Moreover, demand for the meat is only rising as disposable incomes of more than 1.3 billion people in China are rising.

The Chinese diet used to largely consist of grains until the economy opened up in the 1970s. Annual per capita meat consumption in China has increased fourfold since then, to 37 kilograms (approx 82 pounds) of pork, 13 kgs of poultry, and 9 kgs of beef and sheep meat.

Chinese pork output volumes were 53.35 million tons through 2012, increasing by 5.6% Y-o-Y, and accounting for 63.63% of the total meat output volume (83.84 million tons) in China.

In 2012, China imported 522,000 tons of pork, increasing by 11.7% YOY. The total import value was $980 million, with a growth rate of 15.7% YOY.

China has a national pork reserve that has existed since 2007. It has both live hogs and frozen pork. The live hog reserve typically consists of a few million hogs, which are rotated every four months within 200 to 300 commercial farms. It is estimated that there are about 200,000 tonnes of frozen pork in reserve, which will be rotated every four months to ensure its freshness and quality.

While most Chinese farmers use local hog breeds for production, the industry will gradually replace these pigs with high quality foreign breeds and hybrid combinations. These new breeds offer improved meat quality, better reproductive performance and high quantity yields. By using foreign pig breeds, farmers will also be decreasing their risk of disease in their herds.

For more information on the Chinese pork market, see the latest research: Chinese Pork Market

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