What is China's biggest food import?
China's demand for soybeans has skyrocketed in recent years, in large part because the crop is an important source of animal feed for livestock. From 2000 to 2018, Chinese soybean imports grew from $2.3 billion to nearly $38.1 billion,3 leaving China as the world's largest importer of the legume, by a wide margin.
In December 2022 the top imports of China were Integrated Circuits ($34.6B), Crude Petroleum ($30.7B), Petroleum Gas ($9.27B), Gold ($9.12B), and Iron Ore ($8.37B).
Food imports (% of merchandise imports) in China was reported at 8.1259 % in 2021, according to the World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially recognized sources.
Despite its domestic production, China has been a net importer [DOC] of agricultural products since 2004. Today, it imports more of these products—including soybeans, corn, wheat, rice, and dairy products—than any other country.
Mechanical and electronic products made up more than half of the country's goods imports. In 2021, China's major import products included integrated circuits, crude oil, and iron ore.
In 2020, the top partner countries from which China Imports Food include Brazil, United States, New Zealand, Australia and Canada.
Despite the rapid growth, less than 1 percent of the U.S. food supply comes from China. For a few specific items, like apple juice, garlic, canned mandarin oranges, fish, and shrimp, China is a major supplier.
|China Imports from United States||Value||Year|
|Mineral fuels, oils, distillation products||$21.40B||2021|
|Machinery, nuclear reactors, boilers||$19.56B||2021|
|Oil seed, oleagic fruits, grain, seed, fruits||$17.83B||2021|
|Vehicles other than railway, tramway||$13.84B||2021|
Considering 2022 full year, imports rose 1% to USD 2.7 trillion. Imports are expected to improve this year, with metal commodities likely being a top contributor following a full reopening of the economy.
China (including mainland, Hong Kong, and Macau) is the largest export market for U.S. agricultural products. In 2017, U.S. agricultural exports to China reached $23.8 billion, over 17 percent of U.S. total agricultural exports. From 2000 to 2017, U.S. agricultural exports to China increased by 700%.
What are some major imports in China?
|China Imports By Category||Value||Year|
|Oil seed, oleagic fruits, grain, seed, fruits||$60.17B||2021|
|Iron and steel||$43.57B||2021|
|Meat and edible meat offal||$31.59B||2021|
- Fresh cherries (cherries) In the first quarter of 2022, the import value was US$2.12 billion, and the import volume was 297,000 tons, a year-on-year increase of 21.0% and 1.7% respectively. ...
- Bananas. ...
- Fresh longan. ...
- Fresh durian. ...
- Fresh dragon fruit.
So how can China produce enough safe food for its growing population if they all start eating like Americans? The simple answer is it can't. It takes about 1 acre (half a hectare) to feed the average U.S. consumer. China only has about 0.2 acres of arable land per citizen, including fields degraded by pollution.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, almost two-thirds of all agricultural imports include horticultural and tropical products like fruits, vegetables, nuts, wine, flowers, and hops.
In 2020, the countries that had a largest trade value in imports than in exports of Foodstuffs were United States ($29.7B), Japan ($18B), United Kingdom ($15.3B), Hong Kong ($7.93B), and Saudi Arabia ($5.26B).
|Items||Value (US$B)||% of Total Imports|
|Automatic data processing machines||$37.2||8.4%|
|Trycicles, scooters and similar wheeled toys & other toys||$12.3||2.8%|
|Games; articles for funfair||$5.4||1.2%|
The top three U.S. imports from China, also by value, were Cell phones, related equipment, (2) Computers, and (3) Electric storage batteries. By tonnage, the top three U.S. exports were (1) Soybeans, (2) Corn, and (3) Oil.
China is already the world's largest importer of food. Since 2014, the country's grain imports have remained above 100 million tonnes. It imported 115.1 million tonnes of grain during the first 10 months of 2020, up 28.5 per cent from a year earlier.
Not only does China supply a tremendous amount of our consumer and commercial goods, medical supplies, pharmaceuticals, and vital raw materials, but it also controls a huge share of the world's shipping fleet and commercial shipbuilding capabilities.
Does China import more than the US?
China is currently our largest goods trading partner with $559.2 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2020. Goods exports totaled $124.5 billion; goods imports totaled $434.7 billion. The U.S. goods trade deficit with China was $310.3 billion in 2020.
- Machinery including computers: US$428.8 billion (14.6% of total imports)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $416 billion (14.2%)
- Vehicles: $283.1 billion (9.6%)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $223.9 billion (7.6%)
- Pharmaceuticals: $149.5 billion (5.1%)
|Rank||Exports Product||Import Product|
|2||Broadcasting Equipment||Integrated Circuits|
The remainder went to Russia. Strong import growth from Southern Hemisphere countries Chile, New Zealand, Peru, South Africa, Australia and Thailand are the main suppliers to China when it comes to fresh fruit and vegetables.
|Characteristic||Import value in million U.S. dollars|
Soybeans accounted for nearly one-half of U.S. agricultural exports to China at a record $16.4 billion, surpassing the previous year's record by more than $2.2 billion. China is the world's largest soybean importer, accounting for nearly 60 percent of global trade and half of U.S. soybean export value.
In November 2022 the top imports of United States were Crude Petroleum ($14.6B), Cars ($14B), Computers ($9.77B), Telephones ($9.76B), and Commodities not elsewhere specified ($9.75B).
The U.S. is the world's third-largest apple grower behind the European Union. It also imports apples from Chile, Argentina and South Africa. The addition of Chinese apples could mean more competition for American farmers.
China is obsessed with food security. You might not realize just how obsessed: stockpiling rapidly, by the end of the year China – with its 20% of the world's population – is projected to have accumulated and stashed away some 65% of the world's corn and 53% of the world's wheat.
- Declining domestic soybean and oil crop output.
- Weak influence in global supply chains.
- The search for a seed industry breakthrough.
- Loss of fertile land.
- Corruption and waste of strategic reserves.
What allowed China to grow so quickly?
Economists generally attribute much of China's rapid economic growth to two main factors: large-scale capital investment (financed by large domestic savings and foreign investment) and rapid productivity growth.
Petroleum is the most popular import in 12 states, making it the most common import across America. In 2021, about 72% of imported petroleum was crude oil, which was then domestically refined into products like gasoline, diesel, or jet fuel.
In 2022, the main imports were consumer goods (27 percent), capital goods (26 percent), and industrial supplies (25 percent) followed by automotive vehicles, parts and engines (12 percent), and foods, feeds and beverages (6 percent).
American consumers seek a safe, diverse, and abundant food supply that is simultaneously affordable and available throughout the year. To help meet these consumer demands, the United States imports about 15 percent of its overall food supply.
|Rank||Country / Territory||China imports|
The United States is pretty self-sufficient in food, so the question about importing meat from other countries might seem irrelevant. However, being self-sufficient does not mean you do not import food. The US does import multiple types of food from China. Including meat.
In 2017, U.S. agricultural exports to China reached $23.8 billion, over 17 percent of U.S. total agricultural exports. From 2000 to 2017, U.S. agricultural exports to China increased by 700%. Soybeans are China's No. 1 agricultural import from the U.S., with a 52% market share.
China Is a Major Source of U.S. Imports of Textile Products
In 2021, the U.S. imports of $50.3 billion of Textile products constituted 32.6% of the total U.S. imports of those commodities.
Value of the leading imports from China to U.S. 2021, by commodity. In 2021, pharmaceutical preparations were among the leading import goods with a total value of 171.23 billion U.S. dollars. Passenger cars remained high on the list, as well as crude oil.
How much food does China buy from the USA?
China imported its first-ever commercial container of rice from the United States, marking a positive move in agricultural trade negotiations between the two nations after more than a decade of political and regulatory efforts by the U.S. rice industry.