China can reduce the need for EU pork by 300,000 tonnes
EU pork exports rose by 14% in the first half of the year, mainly due to increased demand from China, the Philippines, Vietnam and Chile. However, according to the latest forecast issued by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), China may reduce pork imports by 528,000 tonnes in 2021 when compared to 2020. The signs are already visible, as China's meat imports have declined by 9% in August y-o-y and by 14% from the previous month.
EU accounts for 60% of the Chinese pork imports and that means a decline of 300,000 tonnes in shipments. There are already large volumes of pork in the EU due to the ban applied in international markets for German pork products, as the country was hit by African swine fever a year ago. The oversupply is estimated at 260,000 tonnes, according to the German Minister of Agriculture, Julia Klockner. USDA experts believe that a further expansion of exports to non-Chinese destinations, mainly the Philippines and Vietnam, and a recovery of exports to the UK is expected to largely offset the reduction of exports to China.
Since 2013, the EU has been the biggest pork exporter in the world, but it is facing increased competition from Brazil and the United States. Until recently, the EU swine sector, in particular the Spanish sector, has been able to out-compete other suppliers based on its reliability and flexibility in meeting market requests. To reduce the dependency on the Chinese market, the EU swine sector is looking at alternative markets.
"An alternative market for the total volume of pork shipped to shipped to China, however, is currently not available, which creates a challenge for EU pork exporters," commented the team behind USDA's FAS report.
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