The Evolution of Food
Chinese food is quickly evolving as the country adopt the western taste. Therefore, the recent developments in China will impact the global agricultural markets. Over the past decade, the recent developments in the global stock markets have resulted in a significant drop in China’s imported commodities. The Chinese population explosion in the 1980s and poor agricultural lands in the country justifies China’s import of more than 60% of global soybean. Brazil and the United States supply 85 million tons of this commodity on an annual basis. It is a testament to China’s growing desire to exploit the global agricultural market to boost the local economy. However, the devaluation of the renminbi has an adverse effect in the long-run for the economic performance, given that the cost of the imported food products will rise by 3%. While the Chinese food is evolving, the government understands that the import of agricultural products is costly. Its main objective is to revamp the local agricultural industry by adopting beef and pork production. Today, 75% of the beef is produced domestically (Waldron et al., 2015). Yet, Chinese population consumes more than 45% of pork, although the country imports only 2 million from EU and US.
High-End Retail Sales
In the past five years, China’s Jewelry market has grown significantly, thus signaling a healthy economic performance. However, economic experts warn that the unprecedented demand for luxurious jewelry products in China is due to the sluggish gold prices. In 2013 alone, the year-on-year data on jewelry sale indicated a rise of 25% to 296 billion RMB.
The monthly subscriptions of beauty products have fallen drastically over the past three years in China. The development is attributable to the crackdown on corrupt activities by the government officials. Therefore, most consumers are cautious and shy away from engaging in traceable acquisitions that can result in their implication. Besides, the Communist party encourages slow economic growth as it implements reforms so that China can transition from exports to a consumer-driven economy.
China’s makeup market is growing rapidly due to the increasing population of the middle-income earners. Euro-monitor data show that the total retail sales of makeup cosmetics have surged to RMB 160 billion in the year 2013 (Chevalier & Lu, 2014). It marks a rise of more than 10% from the previous year. In essence, the increase is reflective of a growing stable economy.
As China’s economy grows, the country seeks influence by forging trade deals not only with the regional partners but also Western nations like the United Kingdom and Germany. In 2015, China boasts 19 free trade agreements under development whereas it has signed and implemented 14 trade deals with countries such as Malaysia, Vietnam, and Myanmar. Analysts fear that the rapid pace of adoption and implementation of trade deal is a sign that the country is excited about the weakening value of the renminbi and the slowing economy (Irwin, 2015). Therefore, the Communist party needs the foreign exchange to stabilize the economic performance.
China’s Free Trade Agreements are a threat to job opportunities in Western countries with low population. The country’s trade agreement with Australia inked late 2015 allows China to export its workforce to Australia when engaging in road and infrastructural projects. Already, has started projects worth more than 150 million USD in Australia and the local workers do not benefit. As Chinese trade rise, the trade deficits are widening between the Asian giant and other countries like the United States. For instance, the American spending on China’s commodities rose eight times between 1990 and 2007 (Morrison, 2013). The FTA between the US and China means that America imports more $ 380 billion worth of goods more than it exports to China.
- Chevalier, M., & Lu, P. X. (2014). Luxury China: Market Opportunities and Potential. London: John Wiley & Sons.
- Irwin, D. A. (2015). Free Trade under Fire. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
- Morrison, W. M. (2013). China’s Economic Conditions. Current Politics and Economics of Northern and Western Asia, 21(3/4), 289.
- Waldron, S., Brown, C., & Longworth, J. (2010). A Critique of High-Value Supply Chains as a Means of Modernising Agriculture in China: The Case of the Beef Industry. Food Policy, 35(5), 479-487.