Brazil may be going against the world’s largest food importer. Soybean and corn productions grow rapidly here and reach record levels.
The opportunities for food exports to satisfy the appetite of the Chinese, however, will be more focused on dairy products and fish, two sectors that Brazilians still lack competitiveness.
The Chinese will continue to need Brazilian products, but imports are losing the fast pace of recent years. Among the meats, the bovine will still have good space.
This signal was given by “Outlook 2022”, which outlined agricultural prospects for China in the next ten years. The event was held in the first half of the year and showed trends in production, consumption and imports.
The data were compiled by technicians from the CNA (Brazilian Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock) office in Shanghai, in partnership with Invest SP.
The news for Brazilian soybean farmers is not very encouraging. Chinese production is expected to grow, while imports will fall. Even so, there will still be room for the Brazilian product, but not at the same pace as exports in recent years.
Chinese soybean production was 16.4 million tons in 2021. It rises to 27 million in 2026, and will be at 35 million in 2031, according to calculations by the country’s Ministry of Agriculture.
Imports, which have already exceeded 100 million tons per year, fall to 90.8 million in 2026 and to 85.8 million in 2031. Chinese consumption is forecast at 118.5 million tons.
The Chinese corn market, another hope for Brazilian producers, is shrinking for foreign negotiations. Last year, Chinese imports totaled 28.4 million tons, but in 2031 they are expected to be just 7.6 million.
China’s corn production, which was 273 million tonnes last year, is expected to reach 324 million in 2031. Consumption rises to 328 million.
Total grain production will be 688 million tons this year. Higher incomes and urbanization will allow for solid growth in consumption over the long term, despite the pandemic causing a slowdown in recent years.
Continuous support and incentive policies will allow for a productive area of over 117 million hectares, according to the Chinese government.
Among the proteins, the best scenario for the Brazilian producer is beef, whose consumption will have a consistent growth. Chinese production will reach 7.7 million tons in 2031, and consumption rises to 10.6 million.
Imports, which were 2.33 million last year, are expected to rise to 2.84 million in ten years, according to government estimates. Brazil should keep a good share of this trade.
For pork, the scenario is not so comfortable. Brazil stood out in exports to China, after the occurrence of African swine fever, from 2018. The disease devastated the Asian country’s herd.
Chinese production is recovering, however, and slaughter will be 700 million pigs in 2031, with production of 56 million tonnes of pork. Imports will retract, falling to just 1.5 million tonnes in 2031. Last year, they were 3.7 million.
Chinese poultry is also gaining strength in the coming years. From a current production of 23.8 million tons of meat, it should reach 26.3 million in 2031. As a result, imports fall from the current 1.48 million tons to 580,000 in ten years, a drop of 60%. .
China opens some doors that Brazil, however, is not yet ready to enter. Milk consumption is expected to rise to 89.6 million tons in 2031, a volume 65% higher than the current one. Imports will go to 36 million tons, up 89%.
In the area of fish, consumption, production and imports are constantly growing. Chinese fish farming, which produced 66.9 million tons in 2021, is expected to reach 71.3 million in 2031. Imports rise to 7.6 million tons, 32% more than 2021 imports.
For cotton, there is a trend towards an increase in production and a decrease in imports. In the case of sugarcane, the crop area remains stable, consumption rises and imports will be 5.8 million tons, a volume close to the current one.
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