Agri Business

China clampdown on illegal meat eats into India’s trade

Bloomberg December 8 | Updated on December 08, 2019 Published on December 08, 2019

Asian nation has adopted stricter controls due to swine fever

China’s crackdown on illegal meat imports has left India, one of the biggest exporters of buffalo meat, scrambling for a new buyer.

China has adopted stricter border controls due to African swine fever, meaning Indian buffalo meat exports into China that usually flow through Vietnam has all but stopped.

Indian exporters are now hoping Indonesia can more than triple its meat imports from the South Asian nation to make up for the heavy losses. Tighter border controls in China have hurt a black market meat trade that’s normally worth about $2 billion a year. India can’t directly sell buffalo meat to China due to a ban by Beijing since 2001 following an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.

China, the biggest consumer of pork, has boosted beef and other meat imports as consumers seek alternatives following the deadly swine disease.

Indian shipments of buffalo meat and offal to China via Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand and Hong Kong, has slumped, according to data compiled by the All India Meat and Livestock Exporters Association.

Government figures showed exports to Vietnam, India’s biggest buyer, fell 34 per cent to 202,873 tonnes in the six months ended September.

Focus on Indonesia

Exporters want to boost sales to Indonesia to 300,000 tonnes a year from 80,000 tonnes now, said Fauzan Alavi, vice-president of the association.

The group has been pushing for the government to talk to Indonesia to get the import quota increased, he said, adding that the association was expecting a positive outcome. India has also requested that China lift its ban on imports, Alavi said.

The association has also been pressing the Indian government to cut export taxes on raw hides to be globally competitive.

Published on December 08, 2019
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