China sees increase in beef demand

beef  avlxyzDemand for beef in China has gone up rapidly after the country's poultry industry was hit by bird flu

Even pork has been off the Chinese menu after the discovery of thousands of pig carcasses floating in Shanghai’s main river in April.

According to Nick McIlroy from Bord Bia- Irish Food Board, Shanghai Office, the Chinese beef market has been able to reap the benefits of the current situation.

Beef, which is traditionally the meat of China’s ethnic Muslim minorities, has a low consumption rate at 4.2kg per capita annual consumption. However, recent data from China Customs has indicated huge growth in demand for beef in the country.

McIlroy noted that the official full-year figures for 2012 indicated China imported 68,000 tonnes of beef, a figure which was surpassed already in April this year. Last month alone, China imported 11,486 tonnes of Australian beef.

According to, in the current fiscal year China has imported 81,622 tonnes of Australian beef.

Importantly, official Chinese statistics does not reflect the considerable trade in beef through parallel import channels based in Hong Kong.

McIlroy pointed out that with the lion’s share of Chinese beef imports currently coming from Australia, increased consumer demand for beef may see opportunities for other countries seeking access to the Chinese market.


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