Livestock and Products Annual 2012

An Expert's View about Agriculture and Animal Husbandry in Hong Kong SAR

Posted on: 10 Sep 2012

U.S. pork exports to Hong Kong are performing well in 2012. The first six months of 2012 already reached $48 million.

THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY Required Report - public distribution Date: 8/29/2012 GAIN Report Number: HK1223 Hong Kong Livestock and Products Annual Annual Approved By: Erich Kuss Prepared By: Caroline Yuen Report Highlights: U.S. pork exports to Hong Kong are performing well in 2012. The first six months of 2012 already reached $48 million. The rise is greatly due to the increased re-exports of U.S. pork products to China via Hong Kong. Also, Hong Kong currency’s peg to U.S. dollar has made U.S. products more competitive when Hong Kong dollars depreciates against other currencies. The increased use of U.S. commodity cuts in fast food chains and Chinese restaurants also have played a role in augmenting Hong Kong imports of U.S. pork. Rising global feed prices likely will impact Hong Kong in 2013 when supply of live pigs from China to Hong Kong will be reduced as a result of high pork prices in China domestically. Summary: Pork production in 2012 is forecast to rise by 3 percent totaling 130,000 MT because supply of live pigs from China has increased following the slackened inflation of pork prices in China compared to 2011. Rising global feed prices are expected to impact the supply of live pigs to Hong Kong next year. With the expected increase in feed prices, there should be upward pressure on pork in China. A buoyant domestic market in China will reduce the incentive of selling live pigs to Hong Kong. Given China’s pledge of providing Hong Kong with adequate food producing animals under a quota system, pork production in 2013 will still reach 128,000 MT, slightly decreasing 1.5 percent from the 2012 forecast level. Pork consumption in 2012 rose slightly to 568,000 MT, representing a modest rise of 2 percent. Pork remains the most favored meat for Hong Kong consumers. Amidst the bigger price increase rate for beef and chicken, there has been some substitution effect towards pork consumption in 2012. The long term trend is the increasing acceptance of chilled pork from China which serves as an alternative to freshly slaughtered pork. U.S. pork exports to Hong Kong are performing well in 2012. The value of U.S. exports for the first six months of 2012 already reached $48 million (vs. $27 million in the same six-month period of 2011) . The rise is greatly due to the increased re-exports of U.S. pork products to China via Hong Kong. Also, competitive prices are a determining factor in successfully expanding the U.S. market share from 5 percent in 2011 to 8 percent in 2012. Hong Kong currency’s peg to U.S. dollar has made U.S. products more competitive as the Hong Kong dollars depreciates against other currencies. The increased use of U.S. commodity cuts in fast food chains and Chinese restaurants also has had a role to play in augmenting Hong Kong imports of U.S. pork. Hong Kong’s imports of U.S. offals amounted to $78 million in January – June 2012, far exceeding pork products. The majority of the products are for re-exports to China. However, the ractopamine factor lingering over U.S. pork and offals has triggered the increased imports of European offals, particularly those from Germany. Starting 2011, Germany overtook the U.S. as the largest supplier of offals to the Hong Kong market. Customers in China find the quality of European products acceptable. However, ractopamine is not an issue in Hong Kong as it is not a prohibited substance according to Hong Kong food law. Commodities: Meat, Swine Production: Production in 2011 reached 126,000 MT rising 5 percent compared to 2010. The increase was mainly due to the revised estimated weight of live pigs imported from China and those raised locally to 96 kg and 80 kg respectively in 2011. In 2010, the average weight of imported and local pigs weighed 86 kg and 68 kg instead. In terms of number of live pigs, production in 2011 decreased 9 percent amounting to a total of 1,557,170, with imports from China accounting for 94 percent. Local supplies constituted the remaining 6 percent. The high pork prices in China last year reduced farmers’ incentive to sell to Hong Kong as they already secured a good return by selling locally. Thus, Hong Kong had recorded a 10 percent decline in the supply of live pigs imported from China in 2011. In contrast, the local supply increased by 5 percent (Table 1). Every year, the Hong Kong government will reach an agreement with the Chinese mainland authority on the annual quota of live pigs to be supplied to Hong Kong the following year. Under the agreement, the quota is set at 1.73 million head for 2012. This quota agreement is based on the consideration that there is adequate supply of food producing animals to Hong Kong instead of limiting imports to protect the local industry. In view of expected increases in feed prices for the remainder of 2012, analysts predicted that there is pressure for farmers to slaughter pigs for the market as early as possible. Thus, this attempt to cut feed costs might increase production in the near future and will have downward pressure on prices and there will be adequate supply of live pigs to Hong Kong. Production for 2012 is expected to rise by 3 percent reaching 130,000 MT or 1,612,700 head. However, the supply of live pigs for 2013 will likely be reduced because of the impact of rising global food prices. It usually takes seven months to raise a piglet for the market, the full effect of high crop prices on pork supply in China is likely to show up in 2013. China’s pork prices in 2013 are expected to rise due to reduced production following high global commodity prices. Consequently, the supply of live pigs to Hong Kong will be affected. The supply of live pigs raised locally is very stable. The number of farms remains at about 43, producing 92,959 head of live pigs in 2011 or 6 percent of total supplies. However, the average weight is about 96 kg, heavier than the 80 kg average weight of pigs imported from China. Local production for 2012 is expected to rise at least 4 percent given the expected rise in pork prices. For the first six months of 2012, Hong Kong imported a total of 623 breeding pigs compared to 100 head in the same period of 2011. Hence, local production in the late 2012 and 2013 is expected to rise. Nonetheless, increased local production will remain between 6 to 7 percent of total supplies. Table 1. Hong Kong: Supply and Consumption of Live pigs, in Number of Head 2010-2011 2012 estimates 2008 2009 2010 2011 % change Local Supply 87,240 84,655 88,639 92,959 5% 96,700 Imports 1,494,568 1,597,373 1,630,452 1,464,211 -10% 1,516,000 Total 1,581,808 1,682,028 1,719,091 1,557,170 -9% 1,612,700 Source: Hong Kong Agricultural, Fisheries and Conservation Department Table 2. Hong Kong: Average Wholesale Prices of Live Pigs, in US$/Metric ton 2012 2009 2010 2011 Jan- May % change Live Pigs 2,065 2,260 3,149 2,904 -8% Exchange Rate: US$1.00 = HK$7.78 Source: Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department Consumption: Hong Kong is a mature market with a population of 7.2 million growing at a rate of 0.9 percent. However, Hong Kong continues to see significant increases in tourist visitors, numbering over 42 million in 2011 (representing a jump of 16 percent from 2011). Under these conditions, pork consumption is expected to rise modestly at less than 2 percent to 568,000 MT in 2012. Hong Kong people eat pork more than any other meat items such as chicken and beef. In 2011, consumption of fresh pork and chilled/frozen pork amounted to 126,061 MT and 331,941 MT respectively (table 4). In general, fresh pork is consumed in households. Chilled and frozen meats are usually used in catering industries. Frozen meats are regarded as inferior goods in Chinese recipe. However, chilled pork from China started to get into Hong Kong market in 2006 to serve as an alternative for household consumption at a more competitive price. The price of 1 kg of chilled pork is about $0.85 -$1.27 lower than that of fresh lean pork. This price difference is good enough to encourage consumers to adjust their consumption pattern particularly when the inflation rate is high. (Hong Kong’s year-on-year inflation rate in June 2012 was 3.7 percent and food prices alone rose 7.1 percent.) Given this price incentive coupled with the gradual receptivity of chilled/frozen products, the consumption of chilled pork from China increased from around 1,333 MT in 2006 to 15,566 MT in 2011. In 2012, different meat supplies have had varying increase in prices. Pork, compared to beef and chicken, experienced the lowest price increases as a result of increased live pig supplies from China. As Hong Kong consumers are price sensitive particularly when food inflation is prevailing, the relatively lower increase in retail prices of pork seems to have encouraged some consumers to replace some beef and chicken consumption to pork consumption. The 2012 wholesale prices of live pigs started to drop as a result of increased supply from China. Between January – May 2012, average wholesale prices of live pigs decreased by 8 percent compared to the entire year of 2011 (table 2). While retail prices still experienced a price increase ranging from 3 to 4 percent depending on the cuts (table 3), the rate of increase is still less than those for beef and chicken. Beef prices increased significantly between 10 to 12 percent and chicken 5 percent. To respond to complaints that the trade still has raised the retail prices of pork despite of lower wholesale pig prices, the industry explained that there are other factors such as labor costs that have accounted for the price increase in meat supplies. Thus they argue that the lower wholesale prices have helped keep retail prices from increasing even further. Table 3. Hong Kong: Average Retail Prices of Pork Relative to Beef and Poultry, (Freshly Slaughtered), in US$/kg 2012 2009 2010 2011 Jan - May % change Chicken (whole chicken) 9.82 9.78 10.72 11.26 5% Beef (best quality) 12.50 12.61 13.74 15.14 10% Beef (belly flesh) 9.82 9.91 11.16 12.47 12% Pork (best cut) 7.23 7.04 8.36 8.61 3% Pork Chop 7.19 7.08 8.38 8.69 4% Source : Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department Table 4. Hong Kong: Pork, Chicken and Beef Consumption 2011, by type, in Metric Tons Freshly slaughtered Chilled/Frozen Pork 126,061 331,941 Chicken 11,771 503,248*(336,467) Beef 8,529 108,840 Source: Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservative Department Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department Note: *The consumption of chicken is 336,467MT if chicken feet are excluded. Trade: U.S. Supplies U.S. pork supplies to Hong Kong in 2012 are expected to reach $100 million, rising over 33 percent compared to 2011 and expanding U.S. market share from 5 to 8 percent. The rise is in large part due to the increased re-exports of U.S. pork products to China via Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s re-exports of U.S. pork products increased over 34 percent in the first six months of 2012 (table 6). With the expected upward pressure on pork prices in China in 2013 as a result of rising global feed prices, Hong Kong’s re-exports of U.S. pork to China is expected to surge so as to meet great demand in China. As such, the forecast of Hong Kong’s pork imports from the U.S. in 2013 is to rise further. While Hong Kong still plays a role in re-export trade to China, it is discernible that direct shipment to China has been increasing at a very significant rate of 134 percent in the first half year of 2012 (table 7). Another reason that prompted the rise of U.S. products to Hong Kong is the relatively smaller increase in average price of U.S. products compared to the major supplier of China. There is always a correlation between market share and price changes. While China’s market share tremendously shrank from 34 to 25 percent following a 25 percent increase in average price between January – June 2011 and 2012, the market share of U.S. supplies rose from 5 percent to 8 percent during the same period given its relatively smaller rise in average price (table 8). The Hong Kong currency is pegged to the U.S. dollar. When the Hong Kong dollar depreciated against other currencies, U.S. products became more price-competitive as a result of the currency peg. Importers also commented that they have received very competitive offers from U.S. suppliers because products have been rejected in other markets as a result of reasons such as ractopamine and quota. Table 5. Hong Kong: Pork Imports in Value by Suppliers, in US$ million Year To Date Partner Country 2009 2010 2011 Jun-11 Jun-12 Market Share % change _Total 881 892 1,253 500 633 100% 26 China 287 323 334 169 157 25% -7 Brazil 173 153 266 94 135 21% 43 Spain 62 61 101 35 57 9% 63 Germany 65 51 94 37 43 7% 17 United States 86 73 75 27 48 8% 77 Netherlands 30 36 66 25 30 5% 22 Poland 18 26 46 19 20 3% 6 Italy 19 24 43 18 19 3% 5 Vietnam 29 28 40 10 26 4% 156 France 17 15 28 8 15 2% 86 Canada 20 20 22 9 12 2% 37 Source : Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department Table 6. Hong Kong: Pork Re-exports by Major Suppliers, MT Calendar Year Year To Date Country of Origin 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Jun-11 Jun-12 %Δ 12/11 _Total 81,990 217,196 152,694 154,250 149,552 58,073 53,626 -7.66 U.S. 4,682 37,284 26,776 20,738 23,816 6,902 9,247 33.97 Germany 9,995 28,961 21,900 30,531 22,861 10,790 8,593 -20.36 Spain 14,516 32,012 25,118 18,433 18,463 6,754 4,911 -27.29 Brazil 17,408 23,164 18,021 13,964 15,466 5,157 6,600 27.99 Netherlands 5,880 16,669 8,109 7,901 10,512 4,822 3,345 -30.64 Source : Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department Table 7. United States: Pork and Offals Exports, US$ million US$ million Year To Date Partner Country 2009 2010 2011 May-11 May-12 %Δ 12/11 _Total 4,030 4,514 5,858 2,255 2,599 15% China 41 131 628 117 274 134% Hong Kong 305 221 190 55 90 62% Source : GTI-Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Statistics Table 8. Hong Kong: Unit Price of Pork vs Market Share, January - June Unit Price, $/MT Market Share % 2011 2012 % change 2011 2012 World 2,392 2,847 19.02 100.00 100.00 China 3,016 3,752 24.41 33.82 24.75 Brazil 3,005 2,924 - 2.69 18.79 21.32 Spain 1,890 2,391 26.49 6.97 8.96 United States 3,058 3,398 11.13 5.43 7.59 Source : Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department The increased use of U.S. commodity cuts in Chinese restaurants and fast food chains has also triggered the rising demand for U.S. frozen pork in the Hong Kong market. U.S. frozen pork imports rose by 151 percent between January – June 2011 and January – June 2012 (table 9). U.S. chilled pork is regarded as a premium product. It is predominantly retained in Hong Kong for domestic use. They are supplied to high-end restaurants and retail outlets. Key competitors for this niche market are products from Canada and Australia. Hong Kong is expected to import $156 million of U.S. pork offals in 2012, at a level even higher than pork products. Offals account for the major share of Hong Kong’s pork products from the U.S. because they are largely re-exported to China where there is huge demand. Almost 100 percent of Hong Kong’s offals imports from the world was re-exported between the first six months of 2012 (table 10). Popular offal items include front and hind feet, stomach, kidneys, hearts, and tongues. Importers indicated that the product specification of U.S. offals, such as the trimming of tongues and scalding of stomach, can meet their Chinese clients’ expectation, thus U.S. offals are popular in China. Table 9. Hong Kong: Pork Imports from the U.S. by Categories, in US$ million Year To Date 2009 2010 2011 06/2010 06/2011 Market Share % change Pork 86 73 75 27 48 8% 77 chilled pork 1 2 3 2 1 3% -64 frozen pork 61 50 46 13 33 9% 151 processed pork 24 21 26 12 14 6% 16 Variety meat 229 205 159 67 78 19% 16% Source : Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department Table 10. Hong Kong: Percentage of Imports being Re-exported, Jan – Jun, in MT Pork Offal 2011 2012 2011 2012 Imports 209,182 222,258 234,196 202,755 Re-exports 58,073 53,626 176,783 203,355 % Re-exported 28% 24% 75% 100% Source : Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department Other Suppliers China is the largest supplier of pork products to Hong Kong. However, the high pork prices in China have pushed up average supply cost of pork products to Hong Kong by 25 percent in January – June 2012 compared to the same period last year, reducing the market share from 34 to 25 percent. Of all pork products, China is the key supplier for chilled pork (89%) and processed pork products (27%) to Hong Kong, exporting $20 million and $65 million respectively in the first six months of 2012. Chilled pork from China is largely consumed in households and Chinese restaurants. They are imported as an option to replace freshly slaughtered pork. On the front of processed pork products, China supplies a large amount of relatively more economical ham and sausages supplying the fast food chains and wet markets. Additionally, the majority of meat balls and Chinese dim-sum are processed in China supplying the Chinese restaurants in Hong Kong with the benefit of economies of scale. These commodities are too costly to be produced by professional chefs in Hong Kong. For frozen pork products, Brazil is the largest supplier accounting for a market share of 34 percent. Stimulated by the lower average supply cost and the reduced supply from China, the supply tremendously rose by 51 percent in January – June 2012 compared to the same period in 2011. In recent years, Spain has successfully established a foothold in the Hong Kong market in the selling of high-end ham. Iberico ham and dry cured ham are well-received in Hong Kong. They are promoted and sold at high-end supermarkets. That explained why Hong Kong’s imports of processed pork products from Spain was able to demonstrate strong growth of 46 percent totaling $46 million in the first six months of 2012, following a 71 percent growth in 2011 at an import level of $89 million (table 14). Table 11. Hong Kong: Pork Offal Imports in Value by Suppliers, in US$ million Year To Date Partner Country 2009 2010 2011 Jun-11 Jun-12 Market Share % change _Total 830 831 878 373 418 100% 12% Germany 165 169 218 84 108 26% 28% United States 229 205 159 67 78 19% 16% Netherlands 90 92 112 47 56 13% 20% Brazil 81 83 96 43 56 13% 30% United Kingdom 26 29 50 19 20 5% 8% Belgium 36 35 43 19 19 4% -3% Denmark 39 40 38 20 14 3% -31% Spain 25 34 34 19 15 3% -21% Canada 80 75 32 16 10 2% -34% Source : Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department Table 12. Hong Kong: Chilled Pork Imports in Value, US$ thousand Year To Date Partner Country 2009 2010 2011 Jun-11 Jun-12 Market Share % change _Total 48,905 46,596 50,336 23,936 22,222 100% -7.16 China 44,438 41,688 44,410 20,509 19,885 89% -3.05 United States 1,340 1,930 2,746 1,778 642 3% -63.9 Australia 1,455 1,468 1,573 805 813 4% 1.03 Canada 173 385 493 256 277 1% 7.96 France 74 275 474 215 209 1% -2.78 Japan 332 423 290 133 106 0% -20.1 Thailand 1,029 413 289 228 123 1% -45.99 Source : Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department Table 13. Hong Kong: Frozen Pork Imports in Value, US$ million Year to Date 2009 2010 2011 Jun-11 Jun-12 % change Market Share _Total 489 495 696 266 370 39.03 100% Brazil 155 136 243 83 125 51.15 34% China 144 172 157 86 71 -16.49 19% Germany 41 37 73 27 37 37.28 10% Netherlands 20 26 54 20 23 17.18 6% United States 61 50 46 13 33 150.92 9% Source : Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department Table 14. Hong Kong: Processed Pork Imports in Value, US$ million Year To Date Partner Country 2009 2010 2011 Jun-11 Jun-12 Market Share % change _Total 343 350 506 211 241 100% 14.4 China 99 109 133 63 65 27% 3.33 Spain 59 52 89 31 46 19% 45.71 Poland 17 25 42 17 19 8% 12.3 Italy 19 23 37 15 16 7% 4.88 United States 24 21 26 12 14 6% 15.69 Source : Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department Re-exports Hong Kong maintains its significant role as an re-export center for meat shipments to China. Despite more direct shipments to China in the past few years given the costly terminal handling fees in Hong Kong, the decision makers of many business transactions are Hong Kong traders. About 24 and 100 percent of Hong Kong’s pork and offals imports respectively were re- exported in January – June 2012. China is the largest re-export market followed by Vietnam. U.S. shipments to China are significantly affected by China’s prohibition on ractopamine. Reportedly, the Chinese government has been conducting surveillance on U.S. products to test against ractopamine. Importers indicated that some of their U.S. suppliers are seriously considering to stop using ractopamine in their swine supplies in order to have access to the China market. The ractopamine serves as a catalyst stimulating increasing imports of European offals shipments to China. Offals from Germany and Netherlands are very popular in China. As the majority of Hong Kong’s offal imports are for re-exports, their import figures to Hong Kong are able to reflect their performance in China. The table below (table 15) indicated that the market share of offals from Europe increased by varying degree whereas that from the U.S. decreased from 26 percent in 2008 to 12 percent in 2012. Table 15. Hong Kong: Market Share of Offals from Major Suppliers (in terms of volume) Calendar Partner Country 2008 2009 2010 2011 Jan-Jun2012 _Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% Germany 22% 23% 24% 27% 28% United States 26% 27% 23% 15% 14% Netherlands 11% 10% 11% 12% 12% Brazil 7% 8% 8% 10% 12% United Kingdom 4% 4% 5% 8% 6% Source : Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department Reportedly some European products, which do not have access to the China market, are repackaged in Hong Kong and re-exported as U.S. products. It was reported that a Hong Kong company was prosecuted for the violation of the “Trade Description Ordinance” when his German products were found repackaged as U.S. products and were ready to be shipped to China. The shipment involved a total of 270 boxes of pork hind feet with an approximate amount of US$87,000. The company was fined US$3,600. As there existed the situation that European products were repackaged and re-exported as U.S. products, it explained why Hong Kong’s re-export figures for U.S. pork products would far exceed imports as some of the re-exports were de-facto originated from Europe. In stark contrast, trade statistics indicate that a large amount of European offals imports were retained in Hong Kong, but trade contacts contend that in reality these products were likely re-exported out of Hong Kong as U.S. products (table 16). Table 16. Hong Kong: Retained Offals Imports by Major Suppliers, MT 2010 2011 Jan-Jun 2012 _Total 16,843 125,466 -600 United States -64,167 -77,777 -66,395 Germany 46,792 66,202 8,576 Netherlands 30,028 32,197 12,393 Canada -15,450 -9,187 2,932 United Kingdom 14,934 21,031 4,882 Source : Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department Table 17. Hong Kong: Pork Exports in Value, US$ million Year To Date Partner Country 2009 2010 2011 Jun-11 Jun-12 Market Share %Δ 12/11 _Total 213 215 238 89 103 100% 16.38 China 92 146 170 62 63 61% 2.53 Vietnam 23 23 35 13 21 20% 62.68 Macau 22 23 33 14 18 18% 27.96 Source : Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department Table 18. Hong Kong: Offal Exports in Value, US$ million Year To Date Partner Country 2009 2010 2011 Jun-11 Jun-12 Market share %Δ 12/11 _Total 552 653 457 218 250 100% 14.89 China 260 545 381 187 205 82% 9.61 Vietnam 84 41 59 25 35 14% 37.49 Taiwan 205 64 13 5 9 3% 87.17 Macau 3 2 3 1 2 1% 59.49 Source : Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department Table 19. Hong Kong: Swine Meat, Product, Supply and Demand Data Statistics Meat, Swine Hong 2011 2012 2013 Kong Market Year Begin: Jan Market Year Begin: Jan Market Year Begin: 2011 2012 Jan 2013 USDA Off N USDA ew Post New USDA Post New Post icial Official Official Slaughter (Reference) 0 0 0 0 0 Beginning Stocks 0 0 0 0 0 Production 114 126 116 130 128 Total Imports 432 432 400 438 445 Total Supply 546 558 516 568 573 Total Exports 0 0 0 0 0 Human Dom. 546 558 516 568 573 Consumption Other Use, Losses 0 0 0 0 0 Total Dom. Consumption 546 558 516 568 573 Ending Stocks 0 0 0 0 0 Total Distribution 546 558 516 568 573 CY Imp. from U.S. 32 0 0 15 15 CY. Exp. to U.S. 0 0 0 0 0 Balance 0 0 0 0 0 Inventory Balance 0 0 0 0 0 Weights 0 0 0 0 0 Production Change -5 -5 2 3 -2 Import Change 24 24 -7 1 2 Export Change 0 0 0 0 0 Consumption Change 17 17 -5 2 1 Imports Percent 79 77 78 77 78 Consumption Exports Percent Production 0 0 0 0 0 Population 7,122,508 7,122,508 7,153,519 7,153,519 7,182,724 Per Capita Consumption 77 0 72 0 0 TS=TD 0 0 0 Not Official USDA Data Note: PS&D production figures include local and imported pigs slaughtered in Hong Kong. All numbers used in the PS&D table are in carcass-weight equivalent, using a conversion factor of 1.30. Imports are calculated as Imports minus Re-exports. Exports are calculated as Exports minus Re-exports. Table 20. Hong Kong: Pork Imports in Volume by Suppliers, in Metric Ton Year To Date Partner Country 2009 2010 2011 Jun-11 Jun-12 Market Share %Δ 12/11 _Total 436,567 420,852 481,495 209,182 222,258 100% 6 China 104,982 119,467 100,332 56,119 41,740 19% -26 Brazil 76,794 59,083 86,623 31,295 46,142 21% 47 Germany 43,846 35,895 50,195 22,717 22,251 10% -2 Spain 42,335 37,876 47,410 18,444 23,720 11% 29 Netherlands 18,451 20,463 30,538 13,004 13,051 6% 0 Poland 12,228 17,727 26,690 12,708 10,233 5% -19 U.S. 48,305 33,851 23,831 8,891 14,131 6% 59 Italy 13,285 16,443 20,528 9,046 7,118 3% -21 France 9,371 8,402 12,689 4,281 6,263 3% 46 U.K. 7,953 9,225 12,030 4,424 5,927 3% 34 Source : Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department Table 21. Hong Kong: Pork Exports by Destination, Jan – June, in Metric Tons Year To Date Partner Country 2009 2010 2011 Jun-11 Jun-12 Market Share % change _Total 152,694 154,250 149,552 58,073 53,626 100% -8 China 72,757 118,879 115,113 43,511 34,227 64% -21 Vietnam 17,623 13,543 23,973 9,731 13,313 25% 37 Macau 8,276 7,904 9,922 4,703 5,370 10% 14 Taiwan 53,741 13,863 287 76 613 1% 707 Malaysia 27 32 76 10 0 0% -96 Thailand 3 4 51 1 1 0% 4 Source : Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department Policy: Importers complain that the Hong Kong government has stepped up inspection rate for imports regardless country of origin. To allow inspectors to do the inspection, shipments have to be taken to warehouses and cannot be released before inspection. Importers complain that there are not enough warehouses in Hong Kong and the entire procedure will incur additional costs for them. Importers expressed their concerns to the Hong Kong Food and Environmental Hygiene Department. The government explained that the random checking procedure has been in place for years. It was temporarily interrupted since last March following the nuclear incident in Japan because manpower was arranged for inspecting food imports from Japan. The random checking procedure for meat products has gradually resumed since early 2012, thus giving an impression that inspection has been stepped up. In response to meat importers’ request to reduce meat inspection rate each day, the FEHD agreed to lower the inspection rate and will monitor the situation on the grounds that meat inspection in the last 3 years has been satisfactory and the fact that there is lower risk for frozen meats than chilled meat. The FEHD emphasized that inspection will be maintained at a rate which is sufficient to monitor the safety of meat imports. To expediting sampling and shipment release, the FEHD also agreed to increase manpower to complete the process within 10 working days, starting from the date FEHD receives product arriving notification or shipment arrival date (whichever is later). However, the FEHD rejected the request to take samples at Customs counter at the Terminal because of food safety concerns as Customs facilities are not meant for meat inspection.
Posted: 10 September 2012

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