Pork demand stabilizes despite changing consumer preference: state media

The annual pork consumption in China has stabilized in 2022 despite that Chinese consumers are eating more premium meat options including poultry, beef, and mutton, according to the state newspaper Farmers Daily, a subsidiary of the agriculture ministry in China.

Total pork demand in the world’s most populous country has maintained at more than 55 million tons per year, and the annual volume is expected to be hovering between 55 million tons and 56 million tons in the near future.

According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, total pork output by the end of the third quarter this year was 41.5 million tons, up nearly 6% year on year.

Even though poultry meat has been the most consumed meat type globally since 2016, pork is still the most popular meat type in China, accounting for at least 60% of total meat consumption in China each year.

However, the share of pork demand in the country has dropped from 65% to 60% in the past decade.

In contrast, poultry meat consumption now accounts for more than a quarter of Chinese total meat demand each year, and demand for beef and mutton has risen to 15%, according to Farmers Daily.

Moreover, pork demand in China has been significantly affected by Covid-related restrictions since 2020. Roughly 40% of total pork consumption in the country is estimated to be at restaurants and public dining places, but this sector has been battered by the pandemic as people opted to stay indoors and eat more at home.

The average pork consumption per capita in China is currently 40 kg per person.

As the Chinese market is entering another holiday season, major breeders are unleashing their herds to maintain a stable supply in the domestic market.

The average pork price continued to fall in the second week of December to 37.99 yuan per kg, down 1.2% week on week. But it was still up 31.6% compared to the same week last year.

Pork demand in northern China is poor which had less support to the average pork price in the country.