Chinese Meat Production to Increase

CHINA - The United State Department of Agriculture has forecast China’s 2012 total meat production to increase three per cent year-on-year, to 81.4 million tonnes.
calendar icon 21 November 2011
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Pork production is expected to continue to account for the predominant share, at 63 per cent of total meat output, followed by poultry (23 per cent), beef (seven per cent) and sheep meat (six per cent).

Meat and Livestock Australia market analysts say that China’s beef production has been forecast to continue its downward trend into 2012, falling one per cent on 2011, to 5.5 million tonnes, as the cattle herd is anticipated to decline one per cent year-on-year, to 46.2 million head.

Contributing to the decreased beef production has been the comparatively poor returns to beef cattle farming relative to swine and poultry farming.

The longer production time for beef cattle, combined with continuing high feed prices have created significant disincentives for small producers, who account for the vast majority of China’s cattle operations.

High labour costs, rising utility bills, transportation, and water expenses have also limited beef production growth potential, MLA says.

Following the slow domestic beef production, China was expected to increase beef imports by seven per cent to 45,000 tonnes cwt in 2012. Beef exports were also forecast to increase four per cent to 57,000 cwt, fuelled by strong demand in China’s traditional markets in Asia.

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