China is building a large flock to cover meat shortage
China is building a massive sheep flock to cover some of the animal protein shortage in the market, says the latest GIRA estimates. Also, MLA analysts are saying that a large number of small herders and relatively short life cycle of sheep and goats makes China particularly susceptible to large swings in under and oversupply.
"In terms of all total meat consumed in China, sheepmeat plays a relatively small role, accounting for just 6% of consumption. However, given the size of the market, this still accounts for almost 3 million tonnes cwt. Supplying 44% of China’s imported sheepmeat in 2019, Australia plays a relatively small role within this total consumption.
Chinese consumption of sheepmeat this year is forecast to lift by 82,700 tonnes cwt to total just shy of three million tonnes. With such a prominent lift in production expected, the production gap (filled by imported product) is set to shrink by approximately 90,000 tonnes cwt this year", said the latest report from MLA, based on GIRA outlook for the Chinese sheepmeat market. GIRA estimates forecast the national sheep flock will increase by 6.7% (or 11 million head) from 164 million head in 2019 to 175 million head in 2020.
That will create more volatility in the market and even if China is one of the top buyers of Australian sheepmeat, New Zealand is more exposed to this market. In 2019, Australia's sheepmeat exports to China, including offal, reached $752 million, while New Zealand reported a value of $1 billion in sheepmeat exports to China for the same period, up 40% from 2018.
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