Wednesday, 7 October 2020
With African Swine Fever now in parts of the German wild boar population, China no longer accepts German pork. China is an important market for German pork, and some of that product will now end up being sold in Europe. But what about the other end of the trade?
In the year to August, Chinese Customs’ import statistics show 3.72 million tonnes of pig meat were imported (including offal), of which 521,000 tonnes (14%) came from Germany. Demand is lower than usual in China because of higher prices and ASF related product availability. Estimates suggest that China is probably meeting around 10% of its needs with imported pig meat at the moment. This implies that Germany is meeting approximately 1.4% of Chinese national demand. This may not sound a lot, but agricultural markets can be very price sensitive to small changes in supply and demand.
It may be too early to say how prices in China will react, and in recent weeks wholesale pork prices have been falling. Pork in strategic store has been withdrawn in order to manage domestic supplies. Wholesale pork fell from over 48 yuan/kg (£5.50) in the summer to under to 45.5 yuan/kg (£5.20) at the end of September, according to China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.
It remains to be seen how the Chinese market will balance; US pork producers are optimistic that they will be called upon to supply further volume.
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