USDA projects dramatic rise in China's demand for animal products

China's demand for pork, dairy products, eggs and beef could rise significantly. 

Last month's U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Outlook Forum predicted China's demand for animal products and animal feed will rise dramatically.

Bryan Lohmar, director of U.S. Grains Council programs in China, spoke during the forum about China’s economy and the impact on agricultural markets. Lohmar studied other, higher-income Asian populations to come to the conclusion that products such as pork, dairy products, eggs and beef could rise significantly. 

As a result, he has been working with Chinese companies to increase meat production in a sustainable way despite environmental problems plaguing the nation. Some in China want to have the meat imported, but either way the need for more animal feed on a global level is also a concern.

Other speakers at the forum included Nicholas Lardy of the Peterson Institute for International Economics and Fred Gale, senior economist at USDA’s Economic Research Service. Both spoke on the economy’s effect on their income and demand for food, causing an increase in consumption.

“While China thought they would run out of corn a few years ago, they now have a massive glut of the commodity and local prices that have diverged from global prices such that Chinese corn is now twice the cost of Iowa corn,” Gale said.

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