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08

2023

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03

China's Pork Consumption to Grow From Improved HRI Demand

Source:

USDA

In 2023, pork consumption is increased to nearly 57.6 MMT due to improved demand from the HRI sector following the end of the PRC’s zero-COVID restrictions. In Dec 2022, the PRC relaxed COVID restrictions in the HRI sector and on domestic and international travel. The PRC also removed COVID testing requirements for imported cold-chain products. These changes are expected to boost consumer demand for restaurants and hotels and allow schools and companies to resume full operations. However, recovery in the HRI sector is expected to be gradual.

 

In 2023, pork consumption is increased to nearly 57.6 MMT due to improved demand from the HRI sector following the end of the PRC’s zero-COVID restrictions. In Dec 2022, the PRC relaxed COVID restrictions in the HRI sector and on domestic and international travel. The PRC also removed COVID testing requirements for imported cold-chain products. These changes are expected to boost consumer demand for restaurants and hotels and allow schools and companies to resume full operations. However, recovery in the HRI sector is expected to be gradual.

 

Overall pork consumption in 2023 is expected to marginally increase from a relatively high 2022 base year. Demand for pork products, through retail and HRI, is expected to strengthen in 2023, boost prices, and support stronger consumption of pork products. At the end of 2022 and beginning of 2023, China faced a surge in COVID infections across the country lowering demand for pork products. Additionally, industry sources reported that the endemic ASF outbreaks during the winter months may have caused panic selling and slaughter which increased supply and lowered pork prices. Due to these and other factors, prices remained low at the beginning of 2023.

 

China’s pork imports are expected to increase 4 percent YOY to 2.2 MMT. In 2020 and 2021, China’s pork imports reached historically high levels as production contracted due to ASF. In 2022, as production recovered, imports declined by 51 percent but remained just over 2.1 MMT. In 2023, with stronger consumer demand pork imports are expected to exceed 2022 levels.