China Takes Center Stage as the Largest Pork Supplier

China substantial pork supply has captured the attention of the meat market, and there are compelling reasons behind its dominance.

Pork: A Worldwide Favorite

Pork, along with beef and chicken, stands as one of the most beloved meats across the globe. In several countries, culinary traditions hold pork in high regard. Pork is often favored for its delectable taste and cost-effectiveness compared to beef.

According to the U.S Department of Agriculture, traditionally, pork originates from pigs aged between six to seven months, with a weight ranging from 175 to 250 pounds or approximately 79 to 113 kilograms. Pork isn’t merely marketed as fresh cuts; it undergoes processing to create products such as ham, bacon, and sausages.

Britannica reports that the most sought-after pork exhibits a pinkish-gray hue, a firm texture, and marbling with fat. Among pork cuts, pork belly stands out as particularly popular.

While not all cultures embrace pork consumption, it enjoys popularity in many countries owing to its appealing flavor, affordability, and richness in protein, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.

China Takes Center Stage as the Largest Pork Supplier

China: The Leading Pork Producer

China emerges as a prominent player in pork production, making an indispensable contribution to the global pork market. Pork has entrenched itself deeply in China’s cuisine and culture.

According to Beef2Live, in 2020, China produced an astounding 36 million tons of pork, surpassing the European Union with 24 million tons and the United States with 13 million tons.

China not only excels in production but also holds the title of the top consumer of pork. Every year, Chinese consumers collectively consume 54 million metric tons of pork.

Interestingly, despite being the largest pork supplier, China is also the largest importer of pork. A significant portion of their pork imports originates from the United States.

Pork’s Rich History in China

The history of pork consumption in China dates back to ancient times. Eating China notes that pigs were among the first domesticated animals in China. People raised pigs, slaughtered them, and utilized their fat to produce ham, sausages, and various other dishes. Additionally, in the past, pregnant women consumed some parts of the pig due to their perceived nutritional benefits.

China Dialogue reports evidence of pig farming in China over 9,000 years ago. Pigs were not merely considered a valuable protein source but were also believed to enhance crop growth during ancient dynasties, making them pivotal to the prosperity of kingdoms.

Pigs have also become deeply intertwined with Chinese culture and spirituality. They hold a prominent place in the Chinese zodiac calendar, and historically, pigs symbolized wealth and prosperity.


China’s significant presence in the global pork market as both a producer and consumer underscores the importance of pork in Chinese culture and cuisine. Its rich history of pig farming and consumption has not only shaped its culinary traditions but also its cultural and spiritual beliefs. China’s dual role as a dominant pork supplier and importer reflects the complexity and global interconnectedness of the pork industry.


By admin