Chine : accroissement de la demande en produits frais (en anglais)

La demande de fruits, légumes, produits laitiers et viande devrait progresser de 17% entre 2015 et 2025 en Chine.
China’s appetite for fruit and vegetables, dairy and meat products is expected to increase by 17% between 2015 and 2025. The country’s growing demand for fresh food offers huge opportunities for imports from Europe’s well-reputed food industry.

According to a joint report Freight Trains and Cold Chains, Rabobank together with the world’s leading agricultural university of Wageningen, the ‘New Silk Road’ - the Yu’Xin’Ou Railway, connecting Chongqing and Rotterdam by rail, provides an exciting new route to market for European exporters as it reduces transport times by over 30 days compared to shipping. However, to build China’s supply chains for fresh or perishable foodstuffs, an improvement of its cold chains is also needed.

With 20% of the world population, but only 10% of its arable land and 6% of its water, China faces enormous challenges on food security and safety.

Increasing consumption in China is being driven by continued economic growth and urbanisation. China’s economy is expected to grow by 6-7% annually in the coming years, pushing a further 38 million households into the upper middle class. Fresh or perishable food is increasingly reaching Chinese consumers through modern distribution channels, including supermarkets, hypermarkets and online. Food safety is one of the driving forces pushing shoppers away from traditional wet markets and it is expected to remain one of the biggest concerns for the Chinese population.

The demand for fresh safe food, bought through convenient modern channels is driving the country’s investment in cold chain infrastructure. Over the past five years, storage capacity has grown from 12 million cubic meters in 2007 to roughly 100 million cubic meters in 2015.

However, China’s cold chain sector is still lagging and needs to improve in terms of both quality and capacity. The associated investments are huge: an estimated USD 85 billion is needed in the next ten years.

Once matured, the ‘New Silk Road’ has the capability to stabilise China’s food system by enhancing international trade and reducing the vulnerability to regional events, such as crop disease and extreme weather. In time, it also has the potential to enhance competition, changing the competitive positions of current trading partners like the US, Brazil and Australia, as well as improving the price stability of the food system.