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18

2023

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06

Introduction to the Current Situation of China's Pork Imports

Source:

OIG+X

According to data from GACC, the import volume of pork in China was 1.76 million tons in 2022, a decrease of 52.6% YoY. From January to April 2023, China's pork import volume was 670,000 tons, an increase of 19.9% YoY. In terms of value, the data shows that China's pork import value from January to April 2023 was US $1,618.7 million, an increase of 44.3% YoY.

1. From January to April this year, China's pork imports increased by 19.9% compared to the same period last year.

According to data from GACC, the import volume of pork in China was 1.76 million tons in 2022, a decrease of 52.6% YoY. From January to April 2023, China's pork import volume was 670,000 tons, an increase of 19.9% YoY. In terms of value, the data shows that China's pork import value from January to April 2023 was US $1,618.7 million, an increase of 44.3% YoY.

 

From an overall perspective, the import market for pork products in China is highly concentrated. Spain, Brazil, and the United States are the three main source countries for imports, accounting for 25%, 16%, and 14% respectively. Together, they make up a total import share of 55%.

 

2. Changes in imported pork products: Fresh and high-end pork enter the market.

In terms of the commodity structure of imported pork products in China, it mainly includes two categories: frozen fresh pork and pork by-products (head, pig ears, pig bones, pig skin, and pig offal, etc.).

 

Frozen pork is the main variety of imported meat in China. However, unlike beef and mutton, Chinese consumers are not fond of consuming frozen pork due to traditional dietary habits. With the improvement of temperature control technology, the import volume of chilled pork has been increasing year by year. (Chilled pork undergoes deep processing in Chinese food processing factories and enters the retail market after standardized treatment.)

 

At the same time, the demand for pork consumption in China will continue to experience rigid growth. There is a gradual increase in the demand for pork that meets high food safety standards and is of high quality (such as antibiotic-free pork), and high-quality pork is gaining more and more favor among Chinese consumers, with an increasing proportion of imports.

 

3. Analysis of Channels for Imported Pork: From Wholesale Markets to Processing and Retail

The channels for imported pork primarily focus on wholesale, catering, processing, and retail sectors. In the early decades, imported pork mainly entered the sales market through wholesale markets. As channels diversified, domestic channel operators acquired imported pork and sold it to large-scale catering enterprises or through next-level wholesalers to small and medium-sized catering enterprises or retail stores.

 

Chinese domestic factories acquire imported meat and process it into finished or semi-finished products, which are then sold to large-scale restaurants, next-level wholesalers, or distributors for further distribution. The rise of convenience foods, such as ready-to-eat meals, has also presented opportunities for imported pork. It's worth mentioning that in North America, pork is primarily sold in retail stores and physical shops, making it difficult to purchase pork online. However, China's e-commerce and traditional offline retail sectors are highly developed, which will be a focal point for the future importation of pork.