How Is China's Import and Export of Agricultural Products?

tendata blogMarket Insights

ten data blog17-05-2024

China is primarily recognized as an industrially developed country, producing and exporting almost all types of products, including high-tech products. Nevertheless, agriculture still plays an important role in the country's economy, and China is one of the world's largest producers and exporters of agricultural products.


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China's Agricultural Imports

Due to China's existing natural and economic constraints, there is a high demand for imported agricultural products. Despite government efforts at import substitution and improving the efficiency of the country's agriculture, the country has long remained one of the world's largest net importers of agricultural products.In 2023, imports of agricultural products from China amounted to $223.8 billion, a decrease of $194.6 million from 2022.Agricultural products imports grew at an average annual rate of 12.4% from 2019-2023.


By the end of 2023, soybeans dominate the structure of China's agricultural imports (27.0% of imports, or $60.5 billion). The top five imported agricultural commodities also include beef and bovine edible offal (6.4%, or about $14.4 billion), crustaceans (4.3%, or about $9.6 billion), corn (4.0%, or about $9.0 billion), and fresh durian (3.0%, or about $6.7 billion). In total, the top 10 commodities accounted for 56.3% of China's agricultural imports by value.


In 2023, the largest increases in imports from the previous year were seen in fresh durian (+66.2% or +$2.7 billion), corn (+27.0% or +$1.9 billion), and other food products (+15.6% or +$731.1 million). Significant decreases were seen in purchases of Beef and Edible Beef Hash (-19.9% or -$3.6 billion) and Palm Oil (-12.7% or -$742.6 million).


China's Agricultural Exports

The largest exporters of agricultural products to China in 2023 are Brazil (25.7% of China's agricultural imports by value), the United States (6.3%) and Thailand (5.3%). Together, the top 10 countries accounted for 72.3% of China's agricultural imports by value.


China's agricultural exports amounted to $96.8 billion in 2023, an increase of 1.1% (or $1.1 billion) from 2022. from 2019-2023, China's agricultural exports grew at an average annual rate of 5.9% annually.

China's top agricultural exports in 2023 are aquatic products and canned food (4.2%, $4.1 billion), cooked or canned vegetables without vinegar (4.0%, $3.8 billion), other food products (3.6%, $3.5 billion) USD), and fish fillets and other fish meat (3.4% or $3.3 billion). Together, the top 10 export products accounted for 31.6% of China's agricultural exports.


In terms of value, China's bulb fresh vegetables exports grew most significantly in 2023 (27.9% or +$670.2 million) and other food products (22.5% or +$644.3 million). Meanwhile, exports of shellfish (-25.2% or -$851.7 million), fillets and other fish (-18.5% or -$754.9 million), and products and canned goods declined sharply shellfish (-16.2% or -$547.5 million).


In 2023, China's largest importers of agricultural products are Hong Kong (11.4% of exports), Japan (10.3%), the United States (10.3%), South Korea (6.3%) and Vietnam (5.5%).%). In 2023, the top 10 importing countries together account for 62.5% of China's agricultural exports.


The largest increases in China's agricultural purchases over the 2019-2023 period are in the United States (+57.4%, or +$3.6 billion), Malaysia (+69.4%, or +$2.1 billion), the United Kingdom (2.3 times, or +$1.6 billion), and the Netherlands (+66.1%, or +$1.1 billion).


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