The decline in China’s breeding herd is the main cause of the continued rising trend in Chinese pork imports during the January to June period of 2015 with almost 320,000 metric tons entering the country, according to the German meat association, VDF.  This represents a 7.6 percent increase from 297,400 tons in the same period of 2014 and 272,300 in 2013. Compared to the same period of 2014, the value of the imports was up just 4 percent at CNY13.6 billion (US$2.13 billion).

The European Union supplied 72 percent of the total (231,900 tons) and top supplier was Germany with 83,400 tons, which was more than double the figure for the first 6 months of 2014. Other leading EU sources were Spain (57,300 tons), Denmark (32,800 tons) and the U.K. (14.7 tons), all increasing their respective volumes from last year. Non-EU suppliers lost share of the Chinese pork market; the U.S. sent 54,000 tons and Canada 19,500 tons over this 6-month period, 25 and 8 percent, respectively, less than in 2014.

Although showing a gradual decline over the last 2 years, China imports a greater tonnage of pig offal than fresh and frozen muscle products at almost 382,000 tons for the first half-year of 2015. Again, European Union states accounted for the majority of this trade (71 percent), and the main sources were Denmark (76,400 tons) and Germany (70,900 tons). Among the non-EU exporters, the U.S. led the field with 79,700 tons.

According to the VDF, market experts attribute the growing share of exports from the EU compared to other countries to low pork prices in Europe and favorable exchange rates.  

Shipments of offal from the U.K. to China reached a record 2,900 tons in June, reports the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board  (AHDB). This represents an increase of 80 percent on a year earlier.