China Registered The Highest Imports Amount Ever For Cereals In 2021

20 September 2022
China Registered The Highest Imports

China’s cereals market has been growing exponentially in recent years, in terms of imports. The South-Asian country is known for its vast expansion of cereals production, yet it imports cereals in huge quantities than it exports.

 

China’s total cereals import in 2021 reached an all-time high of about $20 billion, in excess of the previous year. The total amount of cereal imports in 2021 surpasses the registered imports of cereals in China ever.

 

 

China Cereal Imports In A Decade

 

China’s cereal imports below show the yearly values, from 2012 to 2021. The year 2012 amounted to $4.7 billion, followed by $5 billion and $6.1 billion in 2013 and 2014 respectively. The values have fluctuated from 2015 to 2019, standing at $9.3 billion in 2020 and growing exponentially throughout the year 2021, making it stand at a total value of $19.9 billion.


 

China's Cereals Imports In A Decade

Year

Value USD Billion

2012

4.75

2013

5.05

2014

6.17

2015

9.34

2016

5.66

2017

6.40

2018

5.79

2019

5.05

2020

9.31

2021

19.95

 

 


China Cereal Imports – Top Imports

 

The below-shown China’s cereal imports features the top kind of cereals and grain, as per China’s import data 2021. Maize/corn is the largest cereal imported into China with $8 billion worth, followed by Barley, Wheat, Sorghum, and Rice with their respective values—of $3.5 billion, $3 billion, $3 billion, and $2.1 billion. Rye was not imported in significant quantities.


 

China's Cereal Imports – By Kind (2021)

Commodity

Value USD Billion

Maize/Corn

8.02

Barley

3.55

Wheat and Meslin

3.03

Grain Sorghum

3.02

Rice

2.18

Oats

0.96

Buckwheat, Millet, etc.

0.26

 

 


China Cereal Imports – Top Partners

 

The most amount of imported cereals come into China (for 2021) from—the USA (42.9%), followed by Ukraine (16.4%), Canada (9.1%), France (7.4%), Australia (6.3%), Argentina (5.4%), Vietnam (2.7%), Pakistan (2%), India (1.9%), and Thailand (1.7%). The US is home to some of the world’s biggest manufacturers of cereals, so it is likely that the US tops the list.


 

China's Cereals Import – Top Partners (2021)

Country

Value USD %

United States of America

42.9

Ukraine

16.4

Canada

9.1

France

7.4

Australia

6.3

Argentina

5.4

Vietnam

2.7

Pakistan

2

India

1.9

Thailand

1.7

 


 

Why China Cereals Imports Are So High?

 

The market trends for China show that there has been a gradual increase in the consumption of certain products in cereals. Breakfast cereals are making their way into Chinese consumer markets. Both local and domestic products are growing their base in the Chinese market. But breakfast cereals are not the only imports China has.

 

According to FAO, China is among the world’s largest producers of several agricultural products such as cereals, cotton, fruit, and vegetables. It produces about one-fourth of the world’s grain and ranks among the top producers of cereals. As per the Global Yield Cap Atlas, China contributes to feeding about 19% of the world, with a lesser arable land than 10%.

 

Yet the question remains, how do China’s cereal imports exceed the exports? According to Australasian Agribusiness, cereals production accounts for about 89% of total grain production in China. But the low arable land and a high domestic demand & consumption supersede the domestic production of grains in China, which includes cereals production.

 

This in turn invites more imports into the country than what it can export. Some reports suggest that to yield high-quality grains, the quantity decreases with further risks to land deterioration. However, the year 2021 has surpassed any level of imports in China for cereals in the past 10 years, and maybe even more, as per China's historical trade data.

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