Friday, December 19, 2008

China: Processed Food Imports Set to Soar in Next Five Years


The head of China’s food industry body has said the level of imported processed foods will increase their market presence in China over the next five years despite the effects of the global recession.

Wang Wenzhe, chairman of China National Food Industry Association said the trend towards more imported foods in the years to come was inevitable – with imports set to reach 1 trillion Yuan (US$147 million) by 2013. “The most important thing is that we are better off than we were 30 years ago,” he said

He added: “With the global economic crisis as the backdrop, it will be very important to boost international trade in order to improve the competing power of China’s food industry.”

The National Bureau of Statistics showed the per capita disposable income for urban dwellers rose from 343.4 yuan (about US$50.5) in 1978 to 13,785.8 Yuan last year. The per capita net income for rural people also went up from 133.6 yuan to 4,140.4 Yuan last year.

China’s food sector generated 3.27 trillion Yuan last year, compared to 47.1 billion Yuan in 1978. The sector’s sales revenue is expected to skyrocket to 4 trillion Yuan this year. In 1992, Wang said China exported US$ 9.6 billion worth of foodstuffs, while imports were valued at US$4 billion. However, while food exports soared to US$32.3 billion last year, imports were fast closing the gap, rising to US$30.6 billion. Read more here.