EU pigmeat output is expected to recover in 2015 and to increase marginally over the coming decade, achieving a forecast increase of 2% up to 2024, according to a new report from the European Commission (EC).
The newly published Prospects for EU agricultural markets and income 2014-2024 also states that EU pigmeat exports can be expected to “grow steadily” over the next decade “supported by sustained world demand and a competitive EU pigmeat sector”.
“After seven years of continuous decline in production, the May-June 2014 survey conducted in 14 Member States gave the first indication that pig numbers were recovering, with the total pig population up by 0.9% (and breeding sows by 0.8%) on 2013 levels,” it is stated in the 95-page, all-species report.
“The combination of lower feed prices and record harvest and productivity gains should increase the supply of pigs on the market in the short term (+0.8% in 2015). EU net production is subsequently expected to grow marginally, reaching around 22.6 million tonnes by the end of the outlook period, which is close to 2012 levels.”
With global demand for pigmeat forecast to remain strong, albeit growing at a slower rate in the next decade than in the 10 years to 2014 (1.7% rather than 4.1% per year), the world market is expected to reach 8.7 million tonnes by 2024, supported by sustained demand from Asia in particular.
“In view of this,” states the report, “EU exports are expected to increase by more than 20% (or 470,000 tonnes) between 2014 and 2024, to reach around 2.5 million tonnes at the end of this period. This increase is expected to be driven not only by increasing demand in China, but also by growth in exports to a number of countries that were not regular trading partners in the past. This will serve to compensate the expected lower exports to Russia resulting from its self-sufficiency policy and import ban.”