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Changing Chinese diets prompt bright commodity outlook

Consumers in China are moving increasingly toward Western diets which will bring opportunities for producers.


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The Chinese population has heavily increased calorie consumption in recent years
The Chinese population has heavily increased calorie consumption in recent years

Changing diets in China will bring an era of interdependence with the global food market.

 

Consumers in the country are movingly rapidly toward similar diets to Western people which will bring a relatively bright outlook for commodities including wheat and corn, according to analysis in a report from advisory firm PwC.

 

The firm said the country had left self-sufficiency behind and was moving toward dependency on imports.

 

Richard Ferguson, agricultural adviser to PwC and author of the report, said: “China’s changing diet is already exerting a powerful influence on domestic and international agriculture. Amid volatility in commodities markets, China’s continuing shift towards consumerism, means the outlook for soft food stuffs is relativity bright.”

 

Analysis showed the average intake per person in China was 1,863 in 1971 compared to 3,025 in the UK. By 2011 the Chinese average intake was 3,074 compared to 3,414 in the UK. This increase in China includes a 400 per cent increase in meat consumption.

 

Mr Ferguson said: "Self-sufficiency is no longer a practical policy goal for China. The government appears to recognise this with its priorities shifting towards high-value crops, such as fruits and vegetables, and a focus on quality and food safety.

 

“Simultaneously, China is venturing overseas to bolster its food security though investments in foreign farmland and the acquisition of companies across the broader food value chain.

 

"This is where the global impact of China’s increasing food needs will be felt most acutely. These acquisition trends, driven by domestic policy imperatives, are likely to continue.”

 

 


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