China to ‘double beef imports by 2018’

Beef-Koos Schwaneberg sxc optBeef imports in the first 10 months of 2013 totaled 253,196 tonnes. (Image source: Koos Schwaneberg/sxc.hu)China may double beef imports by 2018 as consumers are expected to indulge more in ‘safer and healthier’ products, according to a report

Pan Chenjun, Beijing-based analyst, said that the shipments from overseas may exceed 500,000 metric tonnes as domestic output failed to meet demand, Rabobank International reported.

Consumption of processed pork products will rise by more than 10 per cent a year, she added.

A gain in China’s demand for higher-priced meat will help the beef producers, including Australia and Brazil, and benefit processors such as Tyson Foods and Smithfield Foods, owned by Hong Kong-based Shuanghui International Holdings Limited.

China had earlier said this month that said it was seeking an agreement to resume US beef shipments by July 2014 after they were banned in 2003.

Beef imports in the first 10 months of 2013 totaled 253,196 tonnes, compared with 38,251 tonnes in 2012, according to data by the US Meat Export Federation. While this year’s growth has been exceptional because of the domestic shortage, imports may jump again if prices of overseas supplies fall, Chenjun said.

“There will be steady and robust growth in China’s beef demand during the next five years,” said Joel Haggard, vice-president of the US Meat Export Federation for the Asia-Pacific region.

“A growth rate of 10 per cent a year is very realistic,” he added.

 

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