Recently, China’s international trade has been affected by the outbreak of Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia(NCP). Many companies concern, will China still keep its fast growth in imported food?
In fact, despite the NCP, China is still the largest imported food market in the world. It took the top spot over the US back in 2011 and has kept growing at a robust pace ever since. According to the report of “2019 China’s imported food industry” released by China Chamber of Commerce of Foodstuffs (CFNA), China's food imports totally reached US$ 73.569 billion with a year-on-year increase of 19.33%. For the first time, the retail volume of China’s imported food has exceeded 1 trillion yuan.
More and more enterprises engaged in imported food business. The imported value produced by private enterprises reached US$ 40.782 billion with a year-on-year growth of 28.87%, which is the largest among different kinds of enterprises which also include state-owned enterprises and foreign-funded enterprises.
Beyond that, decades of rapid urbanization have brought considerable changes to Chinese people’s diets. The per person average caloric intake is rising faster in China than in anywhere else in the world. In fact, Chinese consumers now eat more meat, by calories, than Americans. Meat and meat products are in the second place among 17 imported food categories, following aquatic and marine products. The imported value of these two categories had respectively reached over US$ 10billion in 2018. The Chinese government call for importing overseas food to supplement domestic food market with diverse foods even during the outbreak of NCP.
In addition, data by iResearch China also shows that imported snacks were the most popular segment among Chinese consumers. And dairy is also a major import category for Chinese consumers as thirst for milk, yogurts and cheese has taken a big jump in recent years. Figures from the China Customs show that in 2018, the import volume of dairy products reached 2.74 million tons, up by 7.8% year-on-year.
In summary, demand for imported food products shows no sign of waning in China, especially the categories of aquatic and marine products, meat and meat products, dairies and snacks.