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Abstract

China has experienced rapid economic growth in the past three decades. This has resulted in a sustained increase in consumer income, which in turn has led to changes in the patterns and quantities of food consumed. In this study recent trends in food consumption in China over 2000-2010 are examined. Demand has been increasing for a diverse range of foods and for foods of higher quality than traditionally has been supplied. Constrained by limited and sometimes degraded agricultural resources, China will be unable to meet fully the increasing, and changing, demand for foods. However, while the food import needs of China will be significant in the longer term, the evidence of this study suggests the food import needs of China until 2020 will be relatively small. Realistic, though relatively constrained, prospects for increased food trade between Australia and China are outlined.

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