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How has China Influenced Global Meat Trends?

16 May 2012

CHINA - The sharp increase in Chinese per capita meat consumption over the past few decades is largely the result of increased pigmeat consumption.

Per capita consumption of pork in China rose by 900g per annum from 1975 to 1995, outstripping the expansion in poultry (270 grams pa), beef demand (120 grams pa) and sheep/goat meat (50 grams pa), writes Australia's Commonwealth Bank.

The Chinese consume nearly 10 times more pork than beef. The rapid expansion in Chinese demand is largely responsible for pigmeat being the worlds most widely consumed meat.

However the growth rate of per capita meat consumption in China has slowed since 1995, driving slower growth in global meat consumption. China’s per capita meat consumption grew by 760 grams per annum from 2000-2007 after surging by 2.23kg per annum during the 1990s. Chinese pigmeat consumption growth from 2000-2010 slowed to 570 grams per year after rising 1.2kg per year through the 1990s.

China’s total meat consumption growth may moderate further over the coming years because of slowing growth in per capita demand and slowing population growth.

China’s per capita meat consumption is already above the global average and is high when compared to nearby developing nations. For example, per capita meat consumption in China is 54kg/pp/yr, 17 per cent higher than in Japan (46kg/pp/yr).

Commonwealth Bank believes slower meat consumption growth in the coming decade will contribute to slower global meat consumption growth.

Figure 1: Chinese per capita meat consumption per year


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