China Reports Red Meat Shortage

Thu, 30 Jan 2014

CHINA – Price stability is on the agenda for Chinese politicians, with beef and mutton taking top priority.

Urbanisation and dietary change is outstripping the rate at which beef and mutton can be produced or sourced for the Chinese market.

National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) chairman Xu Shaoshi was reported in China daily as saying that 200,000 metric tons worth of emergency beef and mutton imports were being scheduled.

"The most urgent shortages involve beef and mutton,” he told China daily. “Prices are rising quickly, and in some areas, you can't buy these meats, no matter what you're willing to pay.”

Mr Shaoshi said a national investment, of 1.7 billion yuan, to spur production on big farms had been introduced in September.

He blamed the shortage partly on a move of many farmers to pigs in 2006, when keeping cattle became too expensive.