In this file:
· China's pork imports may hit record 4.6 million tonnes in 2020: Rabobank
· Chinese Ministry Calls for ‘Reasonably Priced’ Pork Imports
· China’s pig herd will not recover until 2025 – Rabobank
China's pork imports may hit record 4.6 million tonnes in 2020: Rabobank
Reporting by Dominique Patton; Editing by Dale Hudson, Reuters
Nov 8, 2019
BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s pork imports will reach record levels of as much as 4.6 million tonnes next year, Dutch financial services firm Rabobank said on Friday, as domestic output falls to a historical low following a devastating disease outbreak.
China’s pork imports are already set to surpass previous records this year, reaching between 3.1 million and 3.3 million tonnes including offal, the bank said in a report, up from 2.1 million tonnes last year.
It comes after African swine fever, a fatal pig disease, spread through the world’s largest hog herd, killing millions and discouraging many farmers from replenishing their farms.
Though soaring hog prices recently have spurred large producers to begin restocking empty farms and speed up plans for new ones, the sow herd will begin recovering only next year, with pork supply picking up again from 2021, Rabobank said.
“We expect to see record-high imports in 2020, with record-low production,” the report said.
China’s pork production is expected to shrink by a quarter this year versus 2018 to about 40.5 million tonnes, and by another 10 to 15% in 2020, the bank said.
Poultry production meanwhile has jumped by around 10% this year, and will grow faster next year.
Rabobank estimated pork meat imports of between 2.3 million and 2.6 million tonnes next year, or a quarter of global trade, with offal imports of between 1.5 million and 2 million tonnes.
The forecast is in line with other estimates.
Though imports will decline when domestic production recovers beyond 2020, the average level of imports between 2021 and 2025 will stay high, at around 3 million tonnes including offal, as high biosecurity costs on farms in China keep pork prices elevated.
In line with the views of another consultancy, Gira, the bank does not expect China’s pork production to fully recover, with part of its market share permanently lost to other proteins such as poultry and beef.
“We expect pork production to reach a balance around 47 million and 49 million metric tonnes,” said the report.
The farming structure will also change...
Chinese Ministry Calls for ‘Reasonably Priced’ Pork Imports
As China is forced to rely on imports to replenish pork stores depleted by African swine fever, top officials are pleading with the country’s trade partners not to take advantage of an agricultural crisis.
Fu Danni, Sixth Tone (China)
Nov 08, 2019
The Ministry of Commerce is calling for international meat companies to set “reasonable” export prices for their pork and not take advantage of African swine fever decimating China’s pork supply.
At the China International Meat Conference, held Thursday at the ongoing China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, Ministry of Commerce official Wang Bin said meat prices have risen globally since the beginning of this year, with the current pork price of around $5,000 per ton nearly twice as high as in April and May.
“The pork supply and soaring prices are the two main problems internationally in 2020,” Guillaume Roue, president of the International Meat Secretariat, said at the conference.
On the opening day of CIIE, Chinese officials announced that the country had resumed importing pork from Canada. Meat companies from around the world — including over 20 from France alone — attended this year’s expo.
China is the world’s largest consumer of meat. But African swine fever — a viral disease that’s highly fatal to pigs — has greatly reduced the country’s pork supply, causing a year-on-year decrease of 17.2% in the first three quarters of 2019. Over the same period, pork prices in the country have risen by 46.7% year-on-year.
From January to September, China imported 813,400 tons of pork from Europe (up 41.6%) and 139,400 tons from the U.S. (up 73.3%), the Ministry of Commerce said at the conference. The country has also begun importing pork from South America.
Wang, the official, believes maintaining China’s pork supply will remain a top priority ahead of the Spring Festival holiday in late January, when families are reunited over lavish feasts and meat consumption soars. According to Wang, the upcoming holiday presents a potentially lucrative business opportunity for the meat producers attending CIIE.
“The meat-trading enterprises and purchasing agents should establish long-term, stable, and sustainable trade relations,” Wang said. “Don’t raise prices too much under the current market, set reasonable prices.”
Over the past year, China’s central government has taken measures to mitigate the effects of African swine fever and stabilize pork prices...
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China’s pig herd will not recover until 2025 – Rabobank
By Alistair Driver, Pig World (UK)
November 8, 2019
China’s pig herd will take ‘over five years’ to recover from the damage wreaked by African swine fever (ASF), according to Rabobank.
However, when the herd does recover it is likely to be a very different market, with pork shortages and higher prices forcing a significant and permanent shift away from pork consumption in China.
When China’ first case of ASF was reported in August 2018, its pig herd stood at over 430m, accounting for half the world’s pigs. Such has been the scale of the devastation that the herd now stands at under 200m pigs.
Chinese Government and industry officials have spoken optimistically recently about a recovery in the pig herd, driven by growth in large pig herds. Yang Zhenhai, from China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, predicted the herd would ‘bottom out’ this year and could return to normal levels in 2020.
But Rabobank analysts are forecasting a much longer road to recovery, given the scale of the devastation so far. Rabobank has predicted that ASF will kill a quarter of the word’s pig population.
The focus next year and in 2021 will be on small-scale restocking and large-scale importing before hog production increases in the years to 2025, when the market should rebalance and prices stabilise, they predict. However, even then the total herd is unlikely to return to the 2018 peak, analysts predict.
The report, China’s Recovery from African Swine Fever, Rebuilding, Relocating and Restructuring, says China will be unable to import enough pork to make up for the production shortfall in the coming years, causing high global prices.
The change in the market will also prompt consumers to change habits. Rabobank predicts China’s population will consume more chilled, frozen and processed meat – rather than the preferred fresh warm pork – while poultry consumption will rise to make up some 30% of the market by 2025.
As a result of ASF, China’s pork market will be changed forever, with pork’s share of the market declining from the recent 63% to 53%, the bank’s analysts forecast.
Chenjun Pan, animal protein senior analyst at Rabobank, said: “Everybody recognises that China’s pig population has been decimated but it isn’t fully appreciated that the market will take years – probably half a decade – to rebalance due to the huge restocking required and the fact that global imports simply cannot make up the shortfall.
“The recovery will likely start taking shape...