China Agri News Week 37, 2020

This is the news overview of week 37 from the agricultural team of the Netherlands Embassy in Beijing.

Beef
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Widening Beef Supply Gap Drives Prices Up

As a consequence of new outbreaks of the African Swine Fever and logistical problems caused by several reasons, pork prices continue to stagger. And an alternative for pork, beef, is becoming increasingly popular with Chinese consumers. However, the limited and scattered domestic beef cattle production cannot fully bride the protein gap.

In the first quarter of 2020, cattle outputs dropped with 3.4 percent compared to the year before. In addition, logistics were seriously disrupted during China’s flooding season. To avoid serious scarcity, China increased its beef imports with 43 percent in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the year before, making it the biggest beef importer worldwide (source: UNTG Agricultural China Policy Brief, Volume 22).

New Infant Formula Standard Under Review

The revised national standards on infant and young children formula foods are expected to be released by the end of this year. The new standards clarify requirements on they whey production and lactose ratio, and the minimum and maximum levels for nutrients, such as vitamins, niacin, folic acid, sodium, potassium, and cuprum (source: UNTG Agricultural China Policy Brief, Volume 23). 

Short news:

  • China’s corn-supply concerns is growing after three typhoons flatten crops in main northeastern grain region. Last year, China had a corn-supply deficit of 17 million tonnes, and analysts say that figure could expand to 25 million tonnes by next year. The rapid rise in supply is also caused by a second reason. Last year, many Chinese farmers started shifting from growing corn to growing soybeans at the central government’s behest, to reduce reliance on imports from the United States (source: SCMP). 
  • New Hope Group will build a new project-producing 200 thousand pigs per year in Pengshui County, Chongqing, with a total investment of 192 million yuan. Preparations will begin in July 2020, and the construction is expected to be completed in November (source: Farmers’ Daily, September 5th). 
  • Food companies foresee a quick increase of demand for imported meats, seafood after imports dropped following the governments statement that the second coronavirus outbreak was caused by imported seafood (source: SCMP).