China Agri News Week 36, 2020

This is the news overview of week 36 from the agricultural team of the Netherlands Embassy in Beijing.

Food Prices Continue to Rise with Pork Meat as Biggest Driver

In July, Chinese food prices rose 13,2 percent year-on-year, a slight increase compared to the month before when food prices rose 10,3 percent compared with the year before. The biggest driver behind the price increase is pork meat, which price increased with a staggering 85.7 percent year-on-year. But it’s not only the supply shortage and increasing demand of pork meat that is driving up the price. Other food prices that went up were vegetables (7,9 percent year-on-year), eatable oils (6,4 percent year-on-year) and dairy products (0,9 percent year-on-year).

The rise in food prices are caused by a number of reasons. The coronavirus outbreak made it incredibly difficult for farmers to maximize their output, the north of China experience periods of significant water shortage while the south went through one of the most destructive floods in years. And in addition, the floods also caused new African Swine Fever outbreaks (source: SCMP and CIEC DATA).

Beeld: ©n/a /

Over 20 Thousand New Plant Varieties Registered

According to the Farmers Daily, 20.545 new plant varieties (excluding fie major crops, consisting of wheat, rice, corn, soybean and cotton) were successfully registered last month. Plants with the most registered varieties are vegetables, followed by oil crops, grain and fruit. Of all of these newly registered varieties, no less than 98 percent is nurtured domestically.

The new plant varieties, excluding the five major crops, which formerly had to be tested and evaluated, are now only subjected to an application and registration scheme, which was launched in 2017. Applicants such as private seed companies now have more autonomy to plan their own research and development and experiment on new varieties (source: UN Theme Group on Agriculture and Food Security).

Beijing to Test All Imported Cold-Chain Food for COVID-19

Last Wednesday, Beijing custom’s authority announced that they will start carrying out coronavirus nucleic acid test on all imported chain food. Other goods will also be tested if they are from high-risk countries and regions. In addition, all inbound means of transportation, venues of imported goods, as well as storage of imported cold-chain food, will be disinfected.

Meanwhile, Beijing Customs will work with other countries customs to strengthen oversight of imported cold-chain food from other ports to the capital, in a bid to ensure the safety of imported food in Beijing (source: Xinhua News).

China Suffers Severe Damage from Hail Storm

A recent hailstorm was seen in parts of Jixian County, Shanxi, an important apple production area in China. The hailstorm and strong wind have resulted in damage to crops such as vegetables and corn to varying degrees.

In the next few days, due to Typhoon Bavi and its peripheral cloud systems, Shandong, eastern Hebei, northeastern China regions, and eastern Inner Mongolia will experience heavy rainfall moving from south to north. The impact of hail storms on growers is huge, as apples are about to ripen and the production will be severely affected (source: Fresh Plaza).