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25

2023

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04

March 2023 Pork Import Data Analysis and Post-Market Outlook

Source:

OIG+X

According to the latest data from Customs, China's pork imports in Mar 2023 were 150,000 tons, up 11.2% YoY. January-March 2023 China's pork imports totaled 530,000 tons, up 27.7% YoY, and pork imports were higher than the same period. To this end, this article will provide a brief interpretation of March pork import data.

 

According to the latest data from Customs, China's pork imports in Mar 2023 were 150,000 tons, up 11.2% YoY. January-March 2023 China's pork imports totaled 530,000 tons, up 27.7% YoY, and pork imports were higher than the same period. To this end, this article will provide a brief interpretation of March pork import data.

 

According to customs data, although the import volume of pork from January to March 2023 was higher than the same period last year, it was far less than the import volume during the non-African swine fever period in 2020 and 2021. The current monthly import volume is around 150,000 to 160,000 tons, with some fluctuations in certain months. Typically, the import volume in March is higher than in February, and there is usually a month-on-month increase. Normally, the pork import volume declared in March corresponds to orders placed one to two months ago and shipped in January or February. At this time, the domestic pig price continued to decline, and some breeding groups panicked and sold their pigs, causing the pork price to drop to below 7 yuan/jin (approximately 0.88 USD/pound) and leading to proactive freezing by slaughter enterprises. This resulted in the loss of price advantages for imported frozen products, making sales difficult, and creating challenges for trade financing. Therefore, overseas orders were limited. Based on the situation of domestic pig production capacity surplus, the fluctuation of pork import volume in the future is limited, and it will maintain a normal level before the African swine fever outbreak.

 

The data in the chart shows that in March 2023, the main source countries for China's fresh, chilled, or frozen imported pork products (including pork and pig offal) were Spain (20.62%), US (18.56%), Barzil (16.99%), Netherlands (10.57%), and Denmark (9.58%). Together, they accounted for more than half of the total. That indicates that China's fresh, chilled, or frozen imported pork mainly comes from the countries mentioned above.

 

Looking at the proportion of pork imports to the total meat imports over the years, its trend is basically consistent with the trend of pork imports. The peak proportion of pork imports was in the peak periods of 2020 and 2021, accounting for 44.2% and 39.55% respectively. In the first three months of 2023, the proportion was 27.18%, far lower than the peak period, but up 3.26% from 2022.

 

According to Mysteel, currently unclear overseas situation with high prices limited the following orders of futures products. Moreover, most import traders have reported the comprehensive cost of imported frozen products is now comparable to that of domestic products, and the demand for imported pork in the market is generally weak. This indicates that the price advantage of imported pork is no longer significant, and the domestic supply of pork meets the domestic demand, with limited dependence on imports.

 

Overall, with the decline in domestic frozen product prices, the price advantage of imported frozen products is not obvious. Most major traders have reported that the import of frozen products is in a state of loss this year, with significant financial pressure and difficulty in sales compared to domestic frozen products. Therefore, the subsequent import volume of pork may remain at a relatively low level, with limited monthly fluctuations throughout the year.