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China becomes world's top meat producer
Updated: 2009-09-03 21:35

China has become the world's leading meat producer, with 29 percent of the global total output last year, an industry official said Thursday.

Last year, China's meat production topped 72.69 million tons, up 6 percent from the previous year, Deng Fujiang, vice president of the China Meat Association, told the World Pork Conference which opened Thursday morning in eastern China's coastal city of Qingdao.

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Of the total, 63.5 percent was pork, he said, adding nearly half of the world's pork last year had been produced in China.

China is a major consumer of meat products as well. It imported 1.84 million tons but exported only 742,000 tons last year, said Deng.

Patrick J. Moore, president of the International Meat Secretariat, said he expected increasing worldwide meat consumption and international trade despite the impact of the global economic downturn and the A(H1N1) flu epidemic.

Global meat consumption is projected to expand by almost 2 percent annually from now to 2018 to more than 320 million tons, 37.5 percent of which would be pig meat, he said, citing an OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development)-FAO (UN Food and Agriculture Organization) Agricultural Outlook report issued in June.

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