China has been the world’s largest meat importer since 2019. Despite recent reductions in imported meat volumes, the country remains in the top spot. In 2022, China imported 43 percent more than the second largest meat-importing country, Japan (Figure 1). Issues such as disease, tougher laws addressing environmental issues, and an exodus of small-scale farmers have constrained China’s meat supply, boosting domestic prices and incentives to import.

A graph of the country's exportDescription automatically generated

Figure 1. Net Imports of Meat by Top Importing Countries, 2000 - 2022

As China’s most consumed meat, pork tends to dominate its meat supply and demand. China surpassed Japan to become the top meat importer after an African swine...