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|China Agriculture and Agri-Food News|
China's Beef Prices Skyrocket to $345 / kg
There has been significant media coverage in China recently pertaining to the increase in beef prices for the 11th consecutive year. Prices have skyrockets 40% and in turn, people are consuming less beef. In China, the average amount of beef consumed per person is 4.1 kg/year. Compared to the western countries whose average beef consumption per person is 50 kg/year, it is obvious that China needs a solution to their beef industry troubles.
Out of all the meat industries in the world, the beef cattle industry is most difficult to develop. The long growth cycle and low breeding efficiency only allows for one calf birth per year, per breeding cow. This type of large scale breeding requires a great deal of financial investment. Unfortunately, due to its lengthy cycle, costly investment, and increased risk for disease, many cattle farmers are turning to pork and poultry production.
In attempts to resolve the beef cattle dilemma in China, many companies and producers have turned to overseas for help. Breeding bases have been set up in ccountries such as Australia, Brazil and New Zealand. These countries possess rich pastures for grazing and ample space and resources for cattle to grow and mature properly.
Early last year, Shanghai P.X. Group Co, a Chinese property developer, won the approval to purchase 16 farms in New Zealand to increase exports to Asia. On a similar note, Australia has been seeking billions of dollars in Chinese investment to develop vast areas of prized farming land in the country’s northern regions in hopes to increase exports and boost food security in China. In more recent news, China sought out an agreement with Santori, the beef cattle division of the large publicly listed Indonesian agri-company Japfa, to build their country’s largest feedlot. While the Santori feedlot will be focused on feeding locally bred Chinese cattle, countries seeking to develop a feeder cattle export trade with the country are jumping on the opportunity.
Based on these investments, it is evident that China is on the lookout for countries that have the necessary resources to produce and export high quality beef. With that being said, this poses great opportunity for Canadian beef producers, who ranked 6th in the world for beef exports. With more than 90,000 beef cattle farms and ranches, Canada’s vast land, bountiful resources, and lower production costs make for the perfect place for China to invest in high quality beef production. Investment from China into Canada’s beef industry will give producers and feedlots the opportunity to expand their businesses, export their products at a great price, and allow them to make valuable connections in China to help further their businesses.
The Canada-China Agriculture and Food Development Exchange Centre (CCAgr) has recognized China’s cries for quality beef products and are using all of their resources to help resolve this issue. The CCAgr has helped connect Canadian beef producers, feedlots and slaughterhouses with Chinese investors interested in exporting these products overseas. Progress continues, and the CCAgr is confident of the continued future success of this market. “Canadian agricultural and agri-food industry boasts multiple advantages and unparalleled potential — a place where businesses can achieve excellence on a global scale” states Youming Zhao (P.Ag.), President of the CCAgr, “Combined with their peace-loving and culturally inclusive image, Canada provides the perfect opportunity for Chinese investors .”
As China’s economic development strengthens and increases, so does the demand for high quality foods. This collaboration poses great opportunity and success for Canada and its beef producers as demand of high quality beef in China continues to skyrocket.
Canadian Hay has Great Potential in Chinese Market
Wednesday June 27th, Victoria Italiano
The Canada-China Agri-Center has been observing the Chinese hay market closely, and is skilled in identifying where opportunity for Canadian Agriculture lies; this year, it is definitely in the Chinese Hay industry. The following information is based on CCAgr's annual trade report and market observation.
China's production of forage products, including straw and grain, are primarily used for animal feed, and has been sufficient in supply in past years. In recent years, the demand for animal bi-products for human consumption in the Chinese market has increased, causing an increased demand for cattle feed in China. The demand for animal bi-products in the Chinese market, and the increasing Chinese population, does not meet the supply of feeding land available to the Chinese. To aid this problem, Chinese farmers have begun seeking out new varieties of feed to provide for their cattle.
In 1992, the Chinese government created a policy to encourage farmers to increase accelerated growth of grass for livestock feed to facilitate the increased demand for meat and milk.
In 2004, the Chinese government began to worry food security and introduced a new policy. Under this policy, the local government would begin to subsidise farmer's initiative to grain.
Since 2004, China's grassland and grass production has no too much incensement although there are still some farmers that use grass and straw. Currently, livestock in China are fed by soybean meal protein feed, but this method has since become very expensive for farmers. Alternatively, farmers have been using a variety of wheat and corn stalk as feed. At the same time, the production of hay and grass is at an all-time low, creating a supply shortage.
CCAgr's number one goal is to establish and maintain business relation among Canadian and Chinese agricultural companies. We pride ourselves in offering a wide array of services to facilitate this connection and ensure success among both industries.
Alfalfa was the cheapest source of protein for the cattle, but planting alfalfa can be stagnant, and has shown to be an inefficient method of crop production for cattle feed. Since China's increase in meat and milk consumption, and the on-going food security concerns, farmers have been searching for alternative means to feed their cattle which abide by Chinese government food security regulations.
Gansu and Shandong were named the largest alfalfa and hay producers in 2008, successfully meeting the domestic livestock demands in their regions. Following 2008, these regions have seen sever production slowdown due to lack of grassland, low profit margins, and lack of favourable policies.
The problem here is simple; Chinese demand for milk and animal bi-products is at an all-time high, and land resources are extremely limited. Currently, 75% of China's livestock areas are at a shortage of hay use as feed. This means that there is annually 300,000 tonnes of hay on the market to meet a demand of 1000,000 tonnes. The demand for hay in China increases annually at a rate of 10% per year, which equates to 70,0000 tonnes/year.
Not only does this crisis in China pose opportunity for Canadian Hay producers in terms of hay and seed export, it also illustrates that the Chinese farmers are seeking out alternative means of hay production which includes new technologies, machinery and farming methods. Therein lies opportunities for Canadian farmers to export their machinery, or join CCAgr on our mission to China to discover new and ever-growing farming prospects.
Every year CCAgr embarks on a mission to China to introduce Canadian agricultural companies to discover and discuss China's demand for Canadian agriculture as it coincides with your company's products and or services.
According to expert analysis and foreign production practises, forage production in cattle feed accounts of approximately 60% of the world's agricultural production. Among that statistic, Canadian Hay is ranked as one of the highest in quality of the world's hay production. Canada's agricultural exports to China increased by 134% between 2006 and 2008, mainly due to large increases in grains and oilseeds exports. This number continues to steadily increase over the past several years.
As a company that has business connection in both Canada and China, and is dedicated to observing each markets supply and demand, the Canada-China Agri-center is your number one resource for your export of Hay and other Canadian agriculture to China.
Chinese investors buying land
By IAN CUMMING, Ontario Farmer
Chinese investors, through a firm Monaxxion, have bought 40,000 acres of Canadian farmland and bush in 2011, and 18,000 acres in the first two months of 2012, says Pierre Bergeron from Brossard, Quebec.
Most of the purchases through Monaxxion have been in Quebec and Ontario noted Bergeron. Ontario farm land purchases thus far have been mainly in the Ottawa and Toronto areas, “but we’ll go anywhere,” he said, “They really want land.”
Prices paid very from the going area rates of prime farm land to what bush land is worth, said Bergeron. However just this year four ongoing dairy operations and two pig farms have been bought by the Chinese as well, he noted.
Quebec law does not allow foreign ownership of farm land, however immigrants are allowed to purchase and operate farms. A lot of times the initial immigrant buyers through Monaxxion, “are setting others up,” noted Bergeron.
Thus far this has included a livestock operation being turned back to its original owner to operate, or newly arrived Chinese immigrants buying the operations in quick flip with profits of $400,000, said Bergeron. “They know which ones coming in want farms.”
In a Feb. 20 farms financial meeting at Manotick, agriculture lawyer Donald Good told the crowd that he was working with Chinese investors seeking farmland. They were returning to Canada in a couple of weeks, said Good.
Farmer and Ontario Land-owner president Tom Black noted at the meeting how Chinese investors were now offering $9,000 to $14.000 an acre for farm land in his Carleton Place area, with some farmers selling and some not.
Ontario Conservative MP’s Dean Del Maestro and Pierre Lemieux have each confirmed to Ontario Farmer about ongoing negotiations between the government and Chinese officials looking to set up mega dairy operations to produce milk without quota, then process it in Canada with all the product going back to China.
However, neither they or any government officials will provide details.
The Chinese have already bought a milk powder plant at Toronto.
Harper Government Creating Agriculture Trade Opportunities with China
From: Farm.com; Date： Feb 13, 2012
Guangzhou, China, February, 2012 - Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz was pleased to join Prime Minister Stephen Harper on a successful trade mission to China which resulted in a series of new agricultural agreements between the two countries.
"China is an important market for Canadian farmers and by working together with Chinese producers and processors we can open new windows of opportunity in both countries," said Minister Ritz. "Strengthening the Canada-China agricultural trade relationship with these agreements is the result of the strong trade relationship we have built with our Chinese partners over many years."
For the first time in almost a decade, Canadian processors can immediately resume exports of bovine tallow for industrial use to China. An agreement on export conditions has cleared the way for Canadian tallow access to a market expected to be worth $50 million annually according to the Canadian Renderers Association. This announcement is the result of the breakthrough Cooperative Arrangement signed during the visit of President Hu to Canada in 2010 when it was agreed to allow staged market access for beef and beef products.
China has also agreed to certify additional Canadian plants to export beef, begin technical discussions on expanding beef access, create a joint technical working group to move forward a Canada-China Cooperation Dairy Farm Pilot Project and discuss technical export conditions for Canadian dairy cattle. Canada continues to work with the beef industry and China to expand market access, based on sound science, for all Canadian beef and beef products.
China is a top importer of Canadian canola and this demand continues to grow. Minister Ritz was pleased to announce earlier this week a new commitment by Tongwei Co. Ltd., a major Chinese feed company, to increase its purchase of Canadian canola meal by up to $240 million annually by 2015. Tongwei believes its imports of Canadian canola could rise to $900 million over the next decade. Major increases in market demand, such as this, demonstrate the need to ensure long-term trade stability for Canadian canola exporters to China. A new Memorandum of Understanding between Canada and China that will support research aimed at more effectively mitigating the risks associated with blackleg was also signed. In 2010, $1.8 billion worth of canola was exported to China.
Minister Ritz was also pleased to oversee the signing of a new contract for Canadian swine genetics worth $1.6 million. Genesus Inc., one of the top swine breeding companies in the world, signed a contract with Best Genetics for 1000 swine. This commercial agreement was one of 23 that all together totaled close to $3 billion.
The Government of Canada is determined to grow and strengthen its strong trade relationship with China for agriculture products such as beef, canola, pork, grain, pulses and genetics. China is an important market for Canadian producers with 2010 agricultural exports valued at $2.6 billion.
Canadian dairy producers missing out in China
By: Carolynne Wheeler； From: ROB Newspaper； Date: Thursday February 9th, 2012
To see the opportunity for foreign dairy products in China, look no further than supermarket shelves in its fast-modernizing cities. In the grocery section of a central Beijing Wal-Mart, cans of baby formula promise contents from the United States, New Zealand and Australia. In the dairy case, butter from New Zealand sits alongside American cheese, sales of which are growing as upper-middle-class palates acquire a taste for more Western foods.
Chinese consumers’ suspicion of local milk has changed little since the 2008 scandal in which half a dozen babies died and scores more were sickened by melamine-laced milk powder. Even now after sweeping industry reforms Chinese newspapers still carry occasional reports of quantities of melamine-laced milk being seized by inspectors.
That translates into big and growing business for foreign milk producers. China imported some 406,000 tons of milk powder alone last year, a number which is expected to grow to about 550,000 this year.
But very little of that is Canadian milk, and trade lobbyists warn Canada is missing the boat on this growing opportunity because of dairy industry protections back home. “Apart from the barrier that these programs of supply management have been to Canada making other gains in trade negotiations—quite apart from that, they’re bad for Canadian consumers, and they’re bad for Canadian producers,” said John Manley, the former industry minister who now heads the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, in an interview in Beijing late last year.
Canadian forays into the Chinese dairy market have been modest: about C$9 million in a trade category that includes dairy products, eggs and honey, at the peak in 2009. Exports dropped to $4.19 million in 2010, after China tightened import regulations.
Compare that modest number with New Zealand, whose exports in that category were the equivalent of US$1.41 billion in 2010. Most of those are through dairy co-operative Fonterra, owned by a majority of the country’s farmers, which also owns two large dairy farms in China and is now constructing a third.
Canada, Manley said, needs to be more like New Zealand. “If you look at what New Zealand has accomplished in dairy since they unwound their own protections, they have become a dominant supplier around the world,” he said. “It’s a country the size of Toronto. So what could our dairy farmers do if they were actually getting access to markets? It’s not as though there’s too much food in the world. There are huge markets for food and we think producers could be getting into that.”
Such access does carry some risk in this emerging market. Fonterra almost saw its business in China come to a crashing halt over the 2008 milk scandal. Its Chinese partner Sanlu Group, in which it held a 43% share, faced a recall of 10,000 tons of milk powder and eventually went bankrupt, its senior executives imprisoned. However, the company has weathered the storm and today sells its products both commercially under its own brands and wholesale to Chinese companies, gaining market share through training sessions with local partners that include everything from improving feed quality for dairy herds to working with local bakeries to show them how to use their dairy products.
“They have got a good reputation and they’ve managed to build on it,” said David Oliver, a New Zealander who is a Beijing-based dairy consultant. “A country’s wealth increases and people consume more dairy products. When I first came here 15 years ago, you’d go to a supermarket and there might be a little bit of UHT milk and that’s it. … It’s a good market, and it’s going to be a better market.”
Securing access to that market, however, would mean major changes to the supply management system in the Canadian dairy industry. A government-determined quota system ensures producers earn a guaranteed income, but also limits ambitions to expand—a double-edged sword, especially since improving technology means smaller herds are producing more milk than ever before.
In a written statement, Agriculture Canada said there are no plans to change its system of supply management, which leaves dairy production focused almost completely on the domestic market and limits exports to very specific products like ice cream, powdered milk and protein concentrates. Last week, the department handed out $130,000 to the Dairy Farmers of Ontario to develop more niche markets for specialty cheeses.
Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz is in Beijing this week promoting Canadian beef, grains and livestock genetics as part of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to China, which has a heavy emphasis on trade. Ritz has so far maintained publicly there are no plans to change the system. But an eventual review is not entirely out of the question, given the recent legislated end to the Canadian Wheat Board’s 60-year monopoly on marketing wheat and barley.
Such supply management programs would likely come under some review if Canada seriously pursues joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, free-trade negotiations under way among nine Pacific Rim countries including the United States, Australia and New Zealand, in which such protectionist measures are decidedly unwelcome.
“I think there is some concern. I think people are looking at that [Wheat Board experience], but the dairy industry is very strong and their lobby is very strong,” said Doug Yungblut, past-president of the Agricultural Institute of Canada and now an agricultural consultant in Waterdown, Ont. He said that, while the industry could expand production if the system were reformed, most dairy producers are content to live with the status quo. “It’s doing so well for so many people, they don’t want out of it.”
Still, the opportunity for Canadians in China is clear, given the continuing crisis of faith in China’s domestic industry.
“[Imported milk] is more secure and safe, and there are fewer fakes,” said Li Youhe, 60, as he examined milk powder brands on the shelf at Wal-Mart for his now three-year-old granddaughter. She was a tiny baby at the time of the scandal, when his family switched to formula from New Zealand and Germany; today, he purchases a domestic brand of children’s milk powder, on the reassurance that it is made with ingredients imported from Europe.
Canadian entrepreneurs at home and abroad still see opportunity. Zhao Youming, a Chinese agrologist running the private Canada-China Agriculture and Food Development Exchange Centre based in Hamilton, said in a telephone interview that his efforts to sell Canadian dairy products to China have so far been largely unsuccessful because of the lack of supply, though he is consulting with dairy associations on plans to open Canadian agrifood stores in Beijing and Shanghai.
“I travel to China many times. In the supermarket I see dairy products from Australia and New Zealand, but not so much Canadian,” he said. “From my point [of view], I think this is a good opportunity, because Canadian products are seen as good.”
Canada - China Agri Food Exports: Guangxi Port
From: Farms.com; Date: Feb. 06, 2012
As part of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's trade Mission to China, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, Senator JoAnne Buth and the agriculture delegation met with Guangxi Beibu Gulf Port Chairman Ye and discussed the strong agriculture trade relationship between Canada and China. Chairman Ye explained that the Guangxi Port has imported and handled up to $400 million of Canadian agriculture products a year. Chairmen Ye expressed great interest in importing Canadian wheat and barley. The Canadian agriculture industry was represented by Stephen Yu (Viterra), Jim Everson (Canola Council of Canada) and Stephen Vandervalk (Grain Growers of Canada).
Chinese Canola Plant Joint-venture with Viterra
From: Farms.com; Date: Feb. 06, 2012
As part of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's trade mission to China, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, Senator JoAnne Buth and the agriculture delegation visited the Fangchenggang Maple Grain & Oil Industrial Co. Ltd. - a canola crushing joint-venture with Regina-based company Viterra Inc. The canola crush facility opened officially in December 2011 with the help of the largest single Canadian agriculture investment in China - $25 million. Fangchenggang Maple Grain & Oil Industrial Co. Ltd. imports up to $370 million worth of canola annually, providing stability for the Canadian canola market in China.
The Canadian agriculture industry was represented by Stephen Yu (Viterra Inc), Jim Everson (Canola Council of Canada), and Stephen Vandervalk (Grain Growers of Canada).
Surplus skim milk powder may be destined for China
---- A group of Chinese investors is said to be willing to invest heavily in a baby formula plant
By: Jim Rohman, Ontario Farmer, Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Mississauga- A group of eight Chinese investors is poised to buy up Canada’s “structural surplus” of skim milk powder to export as baby formula.
David Reynolds says the group is investing $62 million to build a 100,000-square-foot plant in Scarborough that will employ 355 people to make 30,000 tonnes per year of baby formula for export to China and perhaps India and other far-Eastern countries.
He said the company expects to have sales of $33 million a year. It chose Canada, despite its world’s-highest prices for milk, because of the country’s reputation for quality.
There is strong demand in China, where there is a one-child policy, for top-quality infant formula. Many Chinese who can afford expensive food prefer Canadian products because they have been scared by Chinese food-industry scandals, including repeat cheating to put melanine in milk to boost protein-content test results.
Reynolds, who is president of INAC Services Ltd. and has decades of experience in dairy-industry global trading, said this deal will increase Canadian dairy-farmer incomes by $31 million a year. That’s the difference between the price of skim milk powder marketed as animal feed and what the Canadian Dairy Commission can sell this company as Class 5(b) milk.
“Why Scarborough?” Reynolds asked when he spoke to the semi-annual meeting of Ontario Agri-Food Technologies Inc. here. “Why not Vancouver, which would be closer to China?”
“Because they (the investors) live in Scarborough,” he said.
Gord Surgeonor, chief of staff at Ontario Agri-Food Technologies, said he was first approached about this venture, mainly because Canada does not export dairy products and runs a highly-protective supply-management system.
But Surgeonor said he has been convinced this is a legitimate venture that will “in no way affect supply management.”
Canada’s structural surplus of skim milk powder arises out of a supply-management policy of balancing production and sales on a butterfat basis.
When dairy farmers are marketing just enough butterfat, there is too much skim milk left over and it’s processed into dry powders which are then “dumped” as animal feed because countries will not take dairy exports from Canada. That’s tit-for-tat because Canada has set dairy-product tariffs so high that nobody can export to our markets.
One of the challenges for the investors is to convince Canada to call the infant formula a dairy product so it can qualify to be imported into China.
However, failing that, Reynolds said the investors will start marketing in India where there is no similar import restriction.
Among the Chinese investors are All City Importers, Hei-longjiang Dragon Food Ltd. which owns large dairy farms, Dairy Farms International Holdings, which owns a super-market chain and the Chinese rights to IKEA and Wahaha Foods, a bottler marketing infant formulas under 100 different brands and annual sales of $16 billion.
Reynolds said there are $5 billion worth of infant formulas sold in Southeast Asia per year and demand is increasing by 12 per cent per year. There are 150 million middle-class Chinese now and that’s projected to increase to 1.7 billion in eight years, he said.
India will have an even greater increase in middle-class income earners, he said, and in eight years India and China and neighbouring countries will have 42 per cent of the world’s middle-class income earners, he said.
He said this company, and others like it, could benefit from Canadian partnerships and mentors. “We should be modeling with them, helping them with things like building permits,” Reynolds said.
Surgeonor said the company filed for a building permits six months ago and is still waiting for Scarborough’s approvals. “It’s frustrating!”
The Increasing CPI in China Gains New Name, “Chinese Pig Index” by Chinese Consumers
Hamilton, ON, July 13th, 2011
According to Statistics China report on July 9th, the CPI for the month of June was at 6.4% with a contribution rate of 1.37, which represents the highest inflation rate in 3 years. What accounts for this dramatic rate you ask? Chinese investors, consumers and economists all blame pork prices, as it they have increase 57.1% in just one month, contributing to over 20% of the nation’s CPI. Officials in the pork industry make various different suggestions.
Chinese economists say this increase is a recovery from last year because the pork manufacture industry was slow, but unfortunately, the industry prices have a tendency to fluctuate. The fluctuation of pork prices and market instability over the last couple years forces confusion among investors when the question is posed, to buy or not to buy. That being said, the Chinese Minister of Agriculture voices to the public that the government encourages farmers to buy more piglets in hopes that the market will find stability in the Chinese New Year. With the constant fluctuation, the chances of that happening may be slim.
One pork store owner forecasts his own opinion, “The price will go down. I’ve been doing this for more than 10 years, fluctuation in this market is normal. People should get used to it.” Needless to say, consumers are not getting used to it any time soon, joking that now is the ideal time to get that beach body on account of the outrageous pork prices!
The Vice President of Shuang Hui Meat Company in China, Mr Liu Ging Tong states, “We have enough meat in supply because of that, we never increase our price. The pork surge is very high, which results in increased cost and a decreased profit level for us. We are hoping for more control in the next 6 months.”
Canada’s Fruitful Hay Production Sparks High Interest in Chinese Importers
Tuesday July 5th 2011, Victoria Italiano, Hamilton, ON
As China’s economy steadily grows and living conditions consistently increase, dairy and meat consumption seems to be at an all-time high. Because land resources are limited and a high population is upheld, hay production in China cannot be largely facilitated and quality cannot be guaranteed.Currently, China’s hay consists of corn stalk waste and grass because, as mentioned earlier, alternate beneficial feed and land resources are unavailable. Because this low quality hay is used to feed cattle and livestock, the quality of the milk and meat in China’s animal production industry is directly impacted.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is working with the Chinese government in an attempt to open up imports of Canadian hay to China to improve the current standards of China’s hay. Until then, Canada China Agriculture and Food Development Exchange Center is confident in the progression of a global collaboration due to the high volume of Chinese investors interested in Canadian hay. Also, many Chinese businesses are currently seeking out Canadian hay production agencies in an attempt to form long lasting partnerships that benefit both the corresponding Canadian and Chinese markets.
Youming Zhao P.Agr CCAGR states, “The great success rate and high quality of the Canadian hay industry poses great opportunity for both Chinese companies and investors. We are happy to work our best in order to assist these interested parties in a trade agreement that will greatly benefit both Canada and China.”
Potato Crops- “Golden Egg” for Poor Rural Chinese Farmers
The province of Gansu in China has in the past been considered one of the most impoverished areas in China. It lies between the Tibetan and Huangtu plateaus, and borders Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, and Ningxia to the north, Xinjiang and Qinghai to the west, Sichuan to the south, and Shaanxi to the east. With a population of approximately 26 million people, Gansu is home to many Chinese of the Muslim religion. Dingxi, located in Gansu, is considered the highest quality production area for potatoes.
Over the last ten years or so, Dingxi has been noticed for their “special soil” that contains plentiful minerals which are perfect for the support of potato harvest. Since then, Dingxi has changed their impoverished image and began to develop an area of economic improvement. Dingxi can attribute a lot of their success to the high elevation and consistent warm temperature of the land. Due to a combination of these environmental factors, Gansu’s success has assisted China in their position as one of the largest potato producers in the world and maintains its name as the potato capital of China. Dingxi maintains distribution of these potatoes to Hong Kong and the residual provinces in China.
Dingxi supports almost 17,000 acres in crops which generates an annual income per farmers of approximately 1000 Yuan. Although this figure converts into only $200 (CAD), it is a very large economic improvement for the people of Dingxi.
Demand Continues to Grow for High Quality Beef in China
There has been significant media uproar in China recently pertaining to a beef food safety issue concerning smuggled beef that has many Chinese consumers worried. The China Beef Association, the Beef Technologies Office and an animal veterinarian magazine teamed up to organize a news conference to settle the worried Chinese consumers and put their thoughts at ease.
Despite this commotion in Chinese communities, the demand for beef in China continues to grow. Professors at the Chinese Agriculture University stated at this conference that China’s beef production industry has rapidly increased, accounting for 8.4% of total meat production in China. China’s total beef production makes up for approximately 10% of global beef production initiatives. Coming in behind the United States and Brazil, China ranks 3rd place for the highest amount of beef production in the world.
China’s beef industry has many genetic resources to accompany a large variety of high quality production which has resulted in increased demand over the last few years. A group of some of the most financially successful companies in China that are responsible for the entire beef production process -from farming, to slaughter, to selling and wholesale distribution- were approached by the Chinese government to supply beef for the Beijing Olympics in 2008. This effort presented major media coverage for beef products in China, hence the increased global trade and demand for beef products. The current market value in China for top-quality beef sits at 2300Y/kg which converts to approximately $354/kg.
According to Chinese experts, an average $1000 (U.S) per global consumer income is attributed to beef and beef products. On average, $2000 (U.S) of Chinese consumer’s yearly income is accountable for high quality beef. The increased demand of superior beef products in China poses great opportunity for international beef producers who are looking for expansion.
Can Money Buy Happiness? : Results of Recent Survey Shock Chinese Professionals
The whole world is familiar with the age old debate; “Can Money Buy Happiness?” a new study conducted by the Capital University of Economics in China reveals a result surprising enough of baffle professors and social scientists.
On May 6th, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Research Center of Urban and Competiveness released a report stating that the people of China were, in general, happy people. This report stated that the level of happiness continues to increase on a consistent level nationwide. Wen-Ling Chen , the senior officer of the State of Council, , strongly disagreed with this, stating that every time she goes back to her hometown, Shijiazhuang; the residents seem to have more and more to complain about.
On June 11th, the Chinese Academy of Social Science and the Capital University of Economics conducted a quality of life survey involving 30 of China’s Provincial Capital Cities, that’s 70,000 people, to see if the people of China are happy. These results varied tremendously from the previous report, stating that the average level of happiness for the cities involved resulted in a 49.71.
According to the design of this survey, people are truly happy when they rank 75 points and over. A 50 point rank reflects a mediocre happiness level. This survey was made up of components such as quality of life measure, covering the cost of living, the environment, convenience and pace. The happiest city in China was Haikou, coming in at 55.08. As a result, the country of China is not happy.
The top ten happiest cities were Haikou, Lanzhou, Hangzhou, Jinan, Yinchuan, Hefei, Chengdu, Chongqing, Xining, and Changchun. The bottom five cities were Kunming, Taiyuan, Nanchang, Hohhot and Wuhan.
This is a surprising result because, for those who are not familiar with Chinese geography, the top ten happiest cities are location along the west coast of China. These cities are typically known as the residential areas with a slower pace and smaller population. Results suggest that residents enjoy living in these eastern countries more so as the environmental surrounds are improved and maintained and cost of living is lower. The five most unhappy cities are located on the east coast of China and have a much larger population. These cities are typically urbanized, more economically prosperous, contain low levels of social security and adopt a fast paced way of live.
This survey was conducted ultimately to improve the welfare level of Chinese citizens. The goal was not to analysis economic growth. Now that the results display that of unhappy Chinese citizens, a new second five-year economic action plan is being generated for the future. Forecast improvements include income distribution changes, the social security system, and the quality of economic operation to alter the quality of economic growth.
Since 1978, China’s overall GDP has increased approximately 9.2%. To date, China is considered one of the top ten richest countries in the world. One might assume that because there is an increase in economic prosperity, that the citizens of that country are happy, satisfied and comfortable people. This report illustrates the true answer that money cannot truly buy happiness.
“Spider Chicken” Allegations Have Consumers Concerned for Their Safety
Concern of chicken authenticity in the Chinese poultry industry encourages consumers belief in the infamous “spider chicken.” This fictitious creature possessing six legs and four wings is a result of a run in the rumour mill and has China’s Poultry Association attempting to prove its legitimacy.
China, among other countries, has been and currently is under great suspicion pertaining to the legitimacy of their industrial chicken farming maintenance and chicken related product production. Food safety is consistently an issue in China, and now, consumers and businesses are led to believe that industrial farmers are injecting their chickens with cancer causing hormones, as a result of the recent increased size in chickens. Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC,) is also involved in these allegations, consumers claiming that the food they serve is unethically produced and in a sense, “manufactured” through immense hormone injection.
Chinese Export Scientists have come up with three explanations as to why these chickens have dramatically increased in size. The first, the chickens are exported from a different location in an attempt to introduce new variety to consumers. The second, the chickens are now fed new and improved chicken feed consisting of many nutritious ingredients including canola oil, soy bean and cornmeal. The third, industrial farmers are adopting new and improved methods of conducting, maintaining and managing their farms. Some of these methods include keeping the chicken cage cleaner and monitoring air control and temperature.
In an attempt to further convince consumers of the certified safety of China’s chicken, the Food Inspection Agency took chicken samples from 3 different leading grocery stores and also, a chicken sample from 27 Kentucky Fried Chicken locations. All of these samples were tested for 32 different chemicals, including cancer and other disease causing hormones. Thankfully, the results were negative and the rumours were put to rest.
A representative for KFC further justified this result by stating that the images of the “chicken spider” found online are altered, produced by technology and are contrary the laws of nature.
China: Severe Drought Leaves Locals and Farmers Threatened
June 1, 2011, Hamilton, Ontario --35 million people and 5 provinces are greatly affected by the drought that has encompassed the Honghu Lake, which was for centuries prided upon for its economics nourishment. Farmers, officials, and the people of China are calling this the worst drought that has hit in over 50 years. More than 4.23 million people and livestock are directly deprived through lack of drinking water, not to mention relinquished opportunity to harvest.
Over 174000 acres of water and land that was once immensely depended on for agricultural and breeding industries, has been left dry and cracked in the extreme conditions of southern China’s 200 day drought. Desperate farmers are pumping water from nature reserves in an attempt to recover some of their lost crops. The Yangtze River, Chinas most economically significant and longest river, has experienced 60 percent lower than average levels of rainfall in the last 50 years.
The agricultural impact poses a massive threat to the economic prospects as the CPI continues to increase. Early rice is not able to take root on account of the parched and cracked areas of farmland resulting in increased grain prices in Chinese and global markets. Livestock is being threatened with the lack of driving water. Primarily in provinces of Hubei, Anhui, Jiangxi, Hunan and Jiangsu are experiencing water levels that are destroying opportunities for fish farms and fish related organization.
The dam will dispense 5bn cubic metres of water between May29th and June 10th, forcing engineers to martyr hydroelectric generation for ecosystem sustenance, irrigation and drinking provisions. As a result of this, warnings of sever power shortages—affecting approximately 400 million people and 40% of China’s economic activity. Some are saying this drought is a great sign of global warming taking extreme action and hitting Asia where it hurts the most.
China vows to improve food safety, grassroots medical services in 2011
Source from Xinhua News
BEIJING, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- China's Minister of Health vowed Thursday to improve food safety regulations this year while ensuring adequate numbers of medical workers for and low prices at grassroots medical institutions.
China's agriculture 60 years: from self-sufficiency to grain contribution
(Xinhua ) After 60 years of struggle and development, the Chinese people have bid farewell to a life of poverty and the lack of food. The grain self-sufficiency rate has remained above 95 percent for years.
In 2007, rural per capita net income has grown to 4,140 yuan (606 U.S. dollars), five times that of 1978. The total volume of grain yield in 2008 reached 525 million tons, compared to 113 million tons in 1949.
In 2005, China halted receiving grain assistance from other countries and donated 577,000 tons of grain instead, becoming the third largest grain donator in the world, just after the U.S. and the European Union.
At present, the Chinese per capita nutrition intake has risen above the world average level. The number of poor in rural areas has declined from 250 million in 1978 to today's 14.79 million, making China one of the few countries to have reduced poverty levels in its population.
Henk-Jan Brinkman, senior economic analyst with the World Food Program, said China had "set an example" for the elimination of poverty and hunger.
Fang Cheng, senior economist at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), said: "China has made tremendous progress in poverty alleviation since the country adopted its policy of reform and opening-up in 1978."
"As the most populous country in the world, China has successfully fed a population making up about 20 percent of the world's total. The country's significance for the world's grain security is self-evident," he said.
The credit goes primarily to government-backed policies on the Three Agricultural Problems (agriculture, rural areas, farmers), which have increased public investment and promoted technological advancement, Fang added.
China's strong technological strength has boosted three major grain productions. Corn's yield per unit has increased from 1.18 tons per hectare in 1961 to 5.15 tons in 2007, rice has been raised to 6.43 tons per hectare from two tons, wheat is up from 0.56 ton to 4.61 tons.
As David Bradford, a geosciences professor at the Pennsylvania State University put it, a healthy food system consists of three elements: investment for agricultural research & development, infrastructure construction, and a reasonable food pricing system.
China has made remarkable achievements in all the three areas, he said.
The Chinese government has put food safety as a basic human right, and is taking measures to encourage agriculture to transform from the current self-sufficiency and half self-sufficiency modes to large-scale commercial production, and from traditional agriculture to modern agriculture.
The new target of the Chinese government is to increase grain production to 540 million tons by 2020, and double Chinese farmers' 2008 annual net income.
To reach the goal, the Chinese government raised its agricultural budget by 30.3 percent in 2007 and 37.9 percent in 2008 and it is expected to rise another 20.2 percent this year.
"No other big country, barring India, has increased spending on farming so much," said the Financial Times. However, it also warned of severe challenges to the planned crop output increase, including water scarcity, loss of fertile land, slowing agricultural productivity growth, and climate change.
The Chinese government has long realized and prepared for the problems. In the Outlines Regarding the State Mid- and Long-Term Grain Security Plan for 2008-2020 Period, the government listed a series of challenges the Chinese agriculture is facing, including the fact that China's grain supply and demand will be in a tight balance for a long period, deficits in agricultural product trade, annual increases in the import of soybean and cotton and rising prices of major agricultural and sideline products. "Agriculture remains the weak part of national economy," the outlines said.
Andrzej Kwiecinski, a leading economist with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), once pointed out that, although China's agricultural development still faces some problems, such as a large income gap between farmers and city dwellers and lagging investment, he still feels optimistic about the sector's future, due to its amazing achievements in the past.
The development of Chinese agriculture has also provided a guide for other developing countries. A new report from an African agricultural technology fund pointed out that the prosperity of China's agriculture has "provided experiences for Africa."
Currently China has set up or is setting up more than 20 agricultural technology demonstration centers around the world, and will double the number of experts to be dispatched overseas. The seed planted to feed the Chinese is also likely to feed people in other developing countries.
Doors open for beef in China!
July 15, 2010
China has agreed to resume beef imports from Canada, seven years after banning the trade as a result of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) concerns.
China's agriculture will be severely affected by climate change
Extreme droughts could more than triple crop losses in northeast China, a McKinsey study says.
By Rie Jerichow
Recently, two studies have focused on the impact of climate changes in China. Both agree that the world’s number one emitter of greenhouse gases will experience unstable weather and a dramatic drop of major crops production in the future.
The Chinese grain production is likely to drop ten percent when temperature rises by one degree Celsius. The rice growing period of China will generally shorten seven to eight days if temperature rises one degree Celsius.
That will lower the quality of rice, and if current grain production mechanism will not change up to 2030, the production potential of crop farming will drop five to 30 percent, says Zheng Guoguang, head of the China Meteorological Administration, in an article published on the agency’s website.
It is imperative to take active and effective measures to tackle climate change, the article on the China Meteorological Institute website concludes.
China Vows to Change Agriculture Development Partern
BEIJING, Dec. 7, 2009 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government pledged Monday to push forward the transformation of its economic development pattern next year while maintaining stable and comparatively fast economic growth.
Participants at the three-day annual Central Economic Work Conference agreed that the global financial crisis highlighted the urgency to transform China's economic development pattern.
They agreed that the government should coordinate efforts to maintain stable and comparatively fast economic growth and speed up the transformation of the economic development mode.
The Central Economic Work Conference, held once a year to set the tone for next year's economic development, comprises policy-making officials from central and provincial-level governments, including President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao.
The conference outlined six major tasks for next year's economic work: to improve macro-regulation to ensure stable and relatively fast economic growth, advance economic structure adjustment to lift quality and efficiency of economic growth, boost rural development momentum, deepen reform and opening up to enhance momentum and vigor of economic growth, promote stable export increase, improve people's livelihood and maintain social stability.
The government would continue efforts to boost domestic demand, especially expand people's consumer demand, and make consumption contribute more to boost economic growth, according to a statement released after the conference.
The government would also seek to push recovery of exports and promote balanced international trade, it said.
More efforts would be spent to deepen economic system reform and enhance the momentum and vigor of economic growth.
The government vowed to balance the tasks of ensuring a stable and relatively fast economic growth, adjusting economic structure and managing inflation expectations next year.
This was the second time the government mentioned about managing inflationary prospects in a national event after a State Council meeting in October picked the issue as one of the key points in macro-regulation for the rest of 2009.
The country would maintain the continuity and stability of macro-economic policy and continue implementing the proactive fiscal policy and moderately easy monetary policy.
China to plough extra 20% into agricultural production amid fears that climate change will spark food crisis
China will increase spending on agricultural production by 20% this year amid warnings that climate change could spark a future food crisis .
Prime minister Wen Jiabao’s announcement of an extra 121 billion yuan (£13bn) to boost farm yields and raise rural incomes was a central part of his annual budget speech at the Great Hall of the People.
The government’s spending pledge also included extra money for renewable energy and improved power efficiency, but these environmental benefits were outweighed by moves to boost overall domestic consumption and a likely emphasis on intensive agriculture.
The short-term aim is to ease the impact of the economic crisis on rural dwellers, who account for more than half of the 1.3bn population. This group is considered a potential source of social instability because the average rural income is just a third that of the city. Wen said grain prices would be increased as an incentive for farmers to produce more.
Many Chinese people can remember the famines of the early 1960s which killed tens of millions of people. More recently, improved farming policies and technologies have given China a high level of self-sufficiency and growth. But the country’s top economic planning body warned that this would be hard to maintain.
Northern China, which accounts for 58% of the country’s food production, suffered its worst drought in half a century earlier this year, according to local media. Rising temperatures and over-use of water resources has continued to cause desertification, cutting the cropland available.
In the face of this, and continued industrial and urban development, it will be a major task for the coming year to be keep the area of arable land above 120 million hectares, Wen told the 3,000 delegates of the National People’s Congress, China’s parliament. This is the minimum that the government has long set for food security.
While China remains committed to high economic growth, and the consequent greenhouse gas emissions, it will continue to boost environmental programmes as well. Wen said spending would increase on wind, solar and nuclear power, as well as research on “clean coal” technology. China’s energy efficiency has improved 10% over the last three years. The output of carbon and sulphur emissions grew 5% slower than the economy in 2008.
The National Development and Reform Commission said China would introduce a regional climate change programme, shut small coal mines and power plants and continue to experiment with cap and trade emissions programmes.
China was praised for the large green component of the $586bn fiscal stimulus package it announced last November. According to the HSBC Climate Change Centre of Excellence, investment in energy efficiency measures, renewable technology and other efforts to ameliorate the impact of climate change accounted for more than 30% of the package.
The CCAgr is a leading organization that promotes Canada-China cooperation and exchange in agriculture, agri-food and life science industries.
China finally grants Canada Approved Destination Status!
December 03, 2009
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that the Government of China has granted Canada Approved Destination Status, a designation that makes it easier for Chinese nationals to visit Canada. The Prime Minister made the announcement in Beijing following his meeting with Wen Jiabao, Premier of China.
“Approved Destination Status marks a significant moment in the history of our relations with China, indicating not only our mutual commitment to strengthening our diplomatic and commercial partnerships, but also our people-to-people ties,” said Prime Minister Harper. "As Canada prepares to welcome the world to Vancouver for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games, this new designation will help more of our Chinese friends discover why Canada is one of the best places in the world in which to invest, innovate, work and compete."
Approved Destination Status allows Chinese travel agents to advertise and organize group tours to countries with the designation. This means that obtaining permission to arrange group travel to that country becomes easier. As a result, this should encourage more people from China to travel to Canada, which will have a positive impact on the Canadian economy.
Hon. Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada met Deputy Minister of China Agriculture, Mr. Wei Chao An.
(Source: China Ministry of Agriculture)
BEIJING, Oct 23, 2009 – Chinese buyers have cancelled at least two cargoes of Canadian canola for November and December shipment on worries that government authorities may hold cargoes over blackleg disease, one industry source said on Friday.
Canada is the world’s biggest exporter of canola, crushed for oil used in the vegetable oil and biofuel markets. China was Canada’s top canola seed importer last year, buying 2.8 million tonnes, though it is an inconsistent buyer year to year.
But Chinese authorities have told Canada they will not accept canola seed from Nov.15 without a certificate showing it is free of blackleg. The restriction covers canola seed used in oil and meal processing, but not seed meant for replanting.
“Some buyers learned the problem last week and have washed out two cargoes,” said the source, who declined to be identified.
ICE Canada November canola closed down 4 percent on Thursday with traders saying the news led to the drop.
Blackleg can reduce yield or kill plants. It is common in Canada canola seed, but is also present in much of the world, including China, so it should not be regulated, the chief of the Canola Council of Canada, JoAnne Buth, said in an interview.
“There should not be this kind of stringent requirements for something that’s going for processing,” Buth said. “It doesn’t seem legitimate.”
More cancellations could happen as the disease is common in Canadian canola crop. Chinese buyers have already booked more than 1 million tonnes of new canola crop from Canada, said one trader with an international trading house in China.
Traders said the move would stop imports completely. Chinese buyers said they did not dare to book more new cargoes.
Two Chinese buyers told Reuters they were not clear whether the date referred to was the loading date in Canada or the cargoes’ arrival date.
Chinese quarantine authorities have not informed buyers in China and could not be reached immediately for comment.
“Some cargoes cannot be washed out, who will take them? We would see how authorities tighten inspection,” said one Chinese buyer.
The move came as Chinese farmers plant rapeseed, a crop Beijing has been buying for state reserves from farmers over the past two years to try to shore up prices.
But cheap imports had pressured domestic prices of the cooking oil, popular in the country’s south.
The news has driven up domstic prices of rapeseed oil futures, with Zhengzhou prices rising 2 percent in morning trade.
China’s rapeseed imports jumped 265 percent in the first eight months of this year to 2.19 million tonnes, after a previous record year high.
At the same time, China’s record harvest prompted the government to build large rapeseed oil reserves to support domestic prices.
The CCAgr is a leading organization that promotes Canada-China cooperation and exchange in agriculture, agri-food and life science industries.
For further information, contact Youming Zhao at www.ccagr.com.