China's statisticians claim meat output reached a record high in 2022, but meat prices and imports are still at historically high levels.
Official data show that China's meat production increased to a record 92.3 million tons in 2022, up from 88.9 million tons in 2021. The 3.8-percent increase seems inconsistent with 0 growth in feed production through November shown by China's feed industry association and a decline shown by the Alltech feed survey. China's meat prices also remain at historically high levels despite the record output and large portions of the country locked down during 2022.
Customs data also show that meat imports reached 7.2 million tons in 2022, lower than the previous two years due to an increase in pork tariffs and declining pork prices during the first half of the year. However, last year's meat import figure was still higher than any year before African swine fever caused imports to spike during 2019-20. The sum of meat output and imports suggests that China's meat supply reached 99.5 million tons in 2022.
Official data indicate that China's meat supply grew from 86.8 million tons in 2012 to 99.5 million tons in 2022, a 14.6-percent increase over ten years. Meat imports grew 5.1 million tons and meat output grew 7.6 million tons over ten years. The share of meat supply imported increased from 2 percent in 2012 to 7 percent in 2022.
|Source: China National Bureau of Statistics and customs administration.|
|Source: China customs data.|
Behind the surge of imports is the upward drift of Chinese meat prices. Chinese pork prices were below production costs for half of 2022, but Chinese prices converted to U.S. dollars were still about double prices in Brazil and the United States. Official data reported a 2.9-percent increase in beef output last year while beef prices fell during the year. However, beef prices were also about twice as high as U.S. and Brazilian beef prices, and China's 2.7-million-ton beef import total for 2022 was about 2.7 percent of China's beef supply.
|Source: China Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, USDA, FAO.|