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Alberta’s meat exports to China

Alberta’s meat exports to China

Posted on: 6/5/2019 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

​​China will be increasing inspections of Canadian pork imports, according to news reports this week. The new measures will not include other meats, such as beef, as was originally reported, however this could change.

Chinese officials said the heightened inspections are due to concerns over the spread of African swine fever, smuggling and “recent cases of non-compliance of pork shipments,” but there is fear the move may be part of broader, indirect trade sanctions against Canada. A new finding of “non-compliance” could provide China with an excuse to block pork and other meat imports from Canada.

Sour trade relations with China are not good for the meat industry. A ban on imports would hurt producers in Alberta and across the country. Alberta exported $104 million worth of meat products to China last year, or about 4 per cent of our total international meat exports. Nationally, total meat exports to China were $596 million, or about 9 per cent of all meat exports to other countries.

Although Alberta’s exposure to the Chinese market is relatively low, any forced reduction of meat exports to China is an unwelcome development, especially with tight margins often in play.

China-exports, graph 

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