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China has a huge population of 1.4 billion people.

This represents 17.5 per cent of all of the people currently living on the planet. Feeding this huge population represents a significant challenge for the country, particularly one where consumer expectations are increasing.

China is a key pillar of the global economy and has been a large exporter of food products for decades.

Over the past 20 or so years, it has become an increasing importer of food as a growing Chinese middle class develops new tastes and demands related products.

China food import and export is a growing industry, creating opportunities for businesses worldwide to trade and enter new markets.

Does China import or export food?

China is an important contributor to the global food supply, with Chinese agricultural exports reaching just under £100 billion dollars in value in 2022.  

Leading exports include corn, soybeans, rice, pork products, coarse grain, wheat and tree nuts. It also exports a range of finished products like seasonings, oils, and sauces for Chinese cooking.

China is increasingly reliant on imports to feed its population with the Government depending on China food importers to achieve food security.

Indeed, 2023 saw a 3.1 per cent year-on-year increase in Chinese food imports, reaching a value of $139.62 billion.

What are China’s main food imports?

What percentage of food does China import, and what kinds of products does it import?

An increasing share of the food that Chinese people consume is imported.

As with exports, the largest imports are staples of the national diet, including soy products, rice and corn.

Over the past few decades, China’s consumption of grain has more than tripled  from 125 million metric tonnes in 1975, to 420 million tonnes in 2018. Meat consumption in China has rocketed over the same period, from 7 million tonnes in 1975 to 86.5 million tonnes in 2018. Imports are increasingly meeting this demand.

Between 2003 and 2017, China’s food imports grew from just $14 billion to $104.6 billion, dwarfing its exports of $59.6 billion.

This food deficit means that China is now highly dependent on imports to feed the growing expectations of its population.

Where does China import its food from?

Most food imports to China are currently sourced from the United States, Ukraine and Brazil.

China is currently trying to diversify its food supply, working with new suppliers across Latin America, Africa, Central Asia and within Europe.

Import and export services from SSO International Forwarding

China is an important trading partner for UK business.

At SSO International Forwarding, we work with our clients to overcome logistical challenges and to ensure that goods get to their destination safely and on time. 

We are a trusted partner for UK food import and export businesses, working with a growing number of businesses of different sizes to help them expand into new markets

We make it possible for you to import and export food products with ease.

Contact our experienced team to find out more about our food shipping services and how we work.

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