National Pork Board looks to China for growth

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

National Pork Board looks to China for growth

Related tags Us Pork China

A new report from the US-based National Pork Board has examined the growing short- and long-term protein needs facing China and how the US pork can position itself to meet that demand.

The new report, Pork 2040: China Market Assessment, looks at the impact that African Swine Fever (ASF) is having on China’s protein needs and how the Chinese pork industry and supply chain will change.

Conducted by global research firm GIRA and funded by Pork Checkoff and the US Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Services Emerging Markets Program (EMP), the report outlines critical insights that exporters of US pork can use now to position themselves for long-term success in the Chinese market.

According to the report, pork consumption in China peaked in 2014 and will continue to see a slow decline as the Chinese population grows to its highest level in 2030. As the availability of other proteins – specifically fish, chicken and beef – increases along with increased disposable income, consumers will look to diversify ‘centre-of-the-plate’ protein options.

The research found that US pork is poised to help fill the urgent short-term protein needs that ASF is creating in China due to the decrease in China’s domestic pig population. However, it expects that by 2025 Chinese pork production will have rebounded, and farms will have had time to rebuild and become more modern. The study outlines key steps that pork exporters can take now to increase exports to China in the short-term and defines a strategy to meet long-term demands.

It advises that on a short-term basis, with the current ASF outbreak, the US export industry will need to work hard to capitalize on the potential market share it can garner. It believes the demand in the short-term will be for pork cuts, variety meats and carcasses and that exporters also should use the benefit of time to build loyalty with both Chinese processors and consumers.

In the long-term, the report estimates that Chinese pork will replace most of the import growth seen during the ASF outbreak. It advises that US exporters can use these next five years to build customer relationships, value around their products and to differentiate themselves as a preferred supplier in the long-term.

“Pork is a critical part of the Chinese diet with per capita consumption nearing 88 pounds* per person per year,” ​said Norman Bessac, vice president of international marketing for the Checkoff. “This report will help exporters position US pork as the supplier of choice, thereby building value for all US pork producers.”

“The Pork Checkoff is committed to adding value for pork producers,”​ said president of the National Pork Board David Newman. “One of the ways to build value is to expand U.S. pork exports in developed and emerging markets. This market research and future studies will help key decision-makers to define and develop these markets.”

Some US producers have already made changes to their production methods in order to take advantage of the opportunity in the Chinese market. Tyson Fresh Meats has removed feed ingredient ractopamine from its herd​ as the substance is banned in China.

Global Meat News recently caught up with US Meat Export Federation about its work to grow red meat sales in Asia​.

The extent of the Chinese pork market and the impact of ASF was recently discussed at length during Global Meat News’ webinar on the topic which can be found here​.

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