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    China clampdown on illegal meat puts $2 bn trade at risk


    China has adopted stricter border controls due to swine fever, meaning a big blow to Indian buffalo meat exports.

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    By Pratik Parija

    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 this year.

    Falling Shipments
    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 that’s killed millions of pigs.

    Indian shipments of buffalo meat and offal to China via Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand and Hong Kong, has slumped 23% from a year earlier to 14,645 containers this year to October, according to data compiled by the All India Meat and Livestock Exporters Association. Government figures showed exports to Vietnam, India’s biggest buyer, dropped 34% to 202,873 tons in the six months ended in September.


    Focus on Indonesia
    Exporters want to boost sales to Indonesia to 300,000 tons a year from 80,000 tons 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 soon. 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 remain competitive in the global market.

    The processors are struggling to sell raw hides despite a reduction in India’s export duty to 40% in July from 60%, Alavi said. Australia, the U.S. and Canada have zero export duties, while there’s just a 9% tax in Brazil, he said.

    The duty removal is crucial for the survival of the industry at a time when most tanneries are shut and some are working at lower capacities, said Alavi, who’s also a director with Allanasons Pvt., India’s biggest buffalo meat exporter.

    “Even if China takes time to allow imports from India, higher sales to Indonesia and a cut in raw hide duties will keep us afloat,” Alavi said in an interview.
    ( Originally published on Dec 08, 2019 )
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    12 Comments on this Story

    Rohan Mathews452 days ago
    India should stop all Chinese toys imports. The cheap plastic toys are causing health hazards to our kids in India. But our authorities are useless as usual..
    H K Doshi452 days ago
    As China has trade war with USA, China is having multiple problems and any export to China will not be steady. It is always remain unstable or volatile with negative bias.
    Anil Tiwari452 days ago
    From 2002 till today is a long time to allow the Chinese to continue with their ban on Indian meat supplies. It's a shame that during the same period the Chinese have been been allowed to flood our market with their cheap goods. The Government must take up this issue so that Indian exporters of meat get a good price and are able to sell directly to China.
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