Chinese beef imports forecast to fall in 2023

The USDA’s latest livestock and products annual report on the Chinese animal protein market predicts that China’s volume of beef & veal imports will fall by 600kt(19%) in 2023, to 2.5mmt. (figure 1)

Among the drivers for this change are that Chinese domestic beef production is expected to continue its expansion trajectory, growing by 300kt (4%), while domestic consumption is tipped to shrink by 300kt (3%). The key drivers behind the increase in production is related to an assumption that Chinese slaughter will pick up the pace by 4.6% compared to 2022, as this year’s crop of cattle reach finished weight, and the carryover from subdued slaughter this year stemming from COVID-zero related restrictions is worked through. This increased domestic supply, combined with lower domestic consumption is expected to weigh negatively upon Chinese beef prices in 2023.

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