China approves four new US meatpacking plants for export
In 2021, US beef exports to China/Hong Kong exceeded 220,000 tons, while pork exports will be lower than in 2020. This month, four US meatpacking plants gained access to the Chinese market. The announcement was made Jan. 7 by China's General Administration of Customs (GACC) and concerns four pork, beef, poultry and cold storage plants.
China has become one of the most lucrative markets for the US meat industry, especially for red meat products. According to the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF), beef exports to China/Hong Kong will exceed $2 billion in 2021. During November, exports to the region nearly doubled year-over-year to 219,264 tons (up 98%) and increased 125% in value to $1.9 billion. Direct exports to China, bolstered by greatly improved market access achieved under the first phase of the US-China trade and economic agreement, increased more than 400% year-over-year to 172,257 tons worth $1.43 billion (up by 502%).
Total pork exports to China will end 2021 significantly lower than a year ago. But even as domestic pork production is recovering, China's demand for American pork meat has strengthened, with November exports up 29% year-over-year to 306,753 tons worth $746.4 million (31% up).
Other major market players also reported a decrease in pork imports to China: the EU, Brazil and Canada.