China Agri News Week 17, 2020

This is the news overview of week 17 from the agricultural team of the Netherlands Embassy in Beijing.

European Milk Powder Imports Reduced Significantly

European milk powder imports fell down dramatically in the first two months of 2020. According to the General Administration of Customs China (GACC), China imported a total of 45.700 tons of infant formula, showing a decrease of 3.3% year-on-year. The average price also declined to an average of US $14.942 per ton, a 1.6% decline year-on-year.

Especially European countries saw their import decline. In total, China imported 33.100 tons from the EU, a year-on-year decrease of 4.7%. Some other countries, however, were quick to jump in and fill the supply gap. Import from New Zealand and Australia subsequently reached 8.900 and 1.600 tons, an increase of 7.8% and 34.6% year-on-year.

Beeld: ©

Of all imported milk powder, the Netherlands, Ireland, France, and Germany still accounted for 72.4% of the total imports. New Zealand and Australia accounted for subsequently 19.5% and 3.6%. It is the first time in history that the quantity of milk powder imported from EU countries has dropped significantly. It is expected that this trend will continue to decline (source, Chinese only: WeMP).

Ministry of Agriculture to Support Agricultural E-Commerce

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) has given full play to the active role of the major internet platform such as Alibaba, Pinduoduo,, Suning and Yimutian and more to carry out e-commerce activities to support the agriculture sector. The ministry will support enterprises with preferential loans and subsidy for freight in order to sell agricultural products in a quick and efficient way. 

As of April 17th, a total of 796 thousand tons of agricultural products from Hubei has sold via major e-commerce platforms through nearly 13 million online orders. In addition, MARA also instructed the Younong Association to jointly organize a live-broadcasting campaign called "Thank you for shopping at Hubei Province" with Sina Weibo, CCTV News, and Kuaishou. The campaign evoked Chinese netizens spending 100 million yuan (source, Chinese only: Sina Weibo the Observer).

Pork Prices Decline for Seventh Consecutive Week 

On April 19th, The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs issued that the price of pork has continued to decline. At the end of March, the weekly average price of pork in the wholesale market was 46.28 yuan per kilo, a decline for the seventh consecutive week nationwide. Also, pig production capacity continues to recover. 

Pork at the supermarket in Vietnam

Of course, pig prices, amongst other things, closely relates to other food prices. That same news states that the prices for beef, mutton, poultry, and eggs remain weak, however, poultry production is increasing. The trading volume for aquatic products slowly recovered and prices are decreasing, and the seasonal price fluctuations of vegetables and fruit were lower than the same period last year, with the increasing trading volume of seasonal vegetables (source, Chinese only: Beijing News).

Drastic Losses Dairy Sector as Price and Production Decline

According to data from the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs, the average price of raw milk continued to decline in March. With an average price of 3,76 yuan per kg, the price decreased with 1,6% in comparison with the month before, and 4.7% year-on-year. 

But it’s not only the price that dropped significantly, but output did as well. From January to February, the national liquid milk output was 3.391 million tons, a 17.5% decline year-on-year, national dry milk output was 222.6 thousand tons, a declined of nearly 17% year-on-year. National milk powder output was 134,800 tons, a decline of 15.5% year-on-year. With prices dropping and production declining, the national dairy processing sales revenue fell by 53.3%, bringing total profit to 2.588 billion yuan. 

Among the top ten provinces for liquid milk production, production only grew in Inner Mongolia. Output in other provinces, including Hebei, Heilongjiang, Jiangsu, Anhui, Shandong, Henan, all declined. In Shandong Province, output has even dropped by 47% year-on-year. Among the top ten provinces that produced dry dairy products, only Hebei, Shandong, and Ningxia saw year-on-year growth (source, Chinese only: Dairy Association of China).

Other Short News:

  • On April 17, an ASF outbreak was discovered in Shuyang County, Jiangsu Province, when pigs were illegally transferred from other provinces (source Chinese only: Farmers’ Daily April 18, p.2).
  • The construction of 283 major agricultural and rural projects began in Jiangsu. More than 75% of the 118 projects are worth more than 100 million yuan and are in the fields of modern farming, agricultural product processing, and modern agrarian service industry (source Chinese only: Farmers’ Daily April 20, p.1).
  • April 17, Hema Fresh announced that it would set up its headquarters in Shanghai Pudong and invest 100 million US Dollars to build a Hema100 internet industry base, which is expected to be put into operation in 2022 (source, Chinese only: International Fruit and Vegetable, April 21).
  • The State council information office held a press conference introducing statistics of the domestic economy of the first quarter of 2020. In the first quarter, GDP fell by 6.8% year-on-year, consumer price rose with 4.9% year on year, the average grain price is up 0.6%, and the price of fresh vegetables 9.0%. Excluding food and energy, the core CPI rose with 1.3% (source Chinese only: Farmers’ Daily April 18, p.2).
  • Beijing Capital Agribusiness Group and UK PIC signed a strategic cooperation agreement in the field of pig breeding. The first batch of GGP Breeding pigs arrived at Yanqing breeding farm successfully (Source Chinese only: Farmers’ daily April 18, p.8).