The consumer market in China is shifting.
As global demand for U.S. agricultural products continues to grow, American farmers can expect to see an increasing number of opportunities in China and other Asian markets in 2012, according to William Westman, vice president for international trade at the Meat Institute, speaking at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 93rd Annual Meeting.
“There are tremendous opportunities in China,” says Westman. “You have four times the population of the U.S. on two-thirds the size of the land, and 225 cities anticipated to have populations of at least 1 million people by 2025. And just like us, they want what is best for their families. They want safe food and, with their emerging middle class, they now want more proteins and higher-quality food.”
China also has more than $3 trillion in foreign exchange reserves and is starting to use it. The country’s agricultural production isn’t adequately keeping pace with its rapidly growing population, even in areas where farmers are producing multiple crops per year on intensively utilized land.