China will be the Invited Importer Country at the next edition of Meat Attraction, the International Fair of the Meat Sector, which will be held in Madrid from September 17 to 19, organised by IFEMA and ANICE, the National Association of Meat Industries of Spain.
Since the protocol between the authorities of both countries that opened exports was signed in Beijing in November 2007, China has become the main non-EU market (and the world’s largest by volume) for the Spanish pork meat industry, which also augers favourable prospects for expanding business opportunities with the Asian giant, including the expansion of authorised operators to export their products there and the opening of the Chinese market to other meats such as beef, lamb and mutton.
For this reason, Meat Attraction will allocate significant resources to attract to Madrid the largest number of significant players in this important market for the Spanish meat industries. This includes the presence of an official, institutional and business delegation, as well as the holding of a single theme day on the Chinese meat market, which will serve to address meat trade relations between these countries and enable the tabling of business opportunities.
For Raúl Calleja, Director of the Area of agro-food industry fairs for IFEMA and for Meat Attraction, “the extraordinary dimension of the Chinese market and its capacity to absorb significant volumes of imports, means that this country is strategic for a meat industry like that of Spain, which is already well placed among international suppliers, but with the ability and willingness to expand its sales there. In any case, it is not an easy and settled market, which, for example, imported less meat last year from Spain than in 2017. For this reason, at Meat Attraction we are committed to making available to our exhibitors all the tools to help them in the task of increasing their commercial opportunities in China”.
Last year, Spanish exports of meat, offal and pork fat to China represented a total of €504 million, well above other major Asian markets such as Japan (€426 million), South Korea (€246 million) and Hong Kong (€107 million). By product, the main items exported to China were fresh, chilled and frozen meats, for a value of €324 million, and offal, which represented exports worth €132 million, plus more limited quantities of processed products and bacon. In volume, exports correspond to 202,254 tonnes of meat, 124,998 tonnes of offal, 4,004 tonnes of bacon and 407 tonnes of cured ham and salted meat.
Currently, there is a total of 28 Spanish industrial plants authorised to export meat and pork products to China, which include frozen and refrigerated meat, offal, cured hams and shoulder and serrano hams (with or without the bone), pork loin, chorizo and sausage, all with a specific curing period in each case.
As for lamb, mutton and beef, the opening of the Chinese market to Spanish exports is being negotiated, and in fact last November a visit was made by the Chinese authorities for the opening of lamb and mutton exports. This authorisation will represent an important boost for the internationalisation of these two sectors, as happened in the case of pork.