Global meat production for 2019 is forecast to be down on last year at 336.5 million tonnes, according to the latest FAO Food Outlook.
The decrease of 0.2% is the first overall decline since 1996. Expectations of reductions in Chinese and Australian output outweigh the anticipated expansions for other major producing countries. Steady progress in beef and sheep production is forecast, but large anticipated declines in pork mean overall production declines.
AHDB analyst Alex Cook said: “Major declines in global pig meat output can be attributed to widespread outbreaks of African Swine Fever, particularly across Asian regions.
“With pork production in China anticipated to fall by at least 10%, opportunities for global growth are signalled. World trade in pig meat is forecast to increase 8% to 9.1 million tonnes as China looks to raise its imports by over a quarter to meet domestic demand. As such, the US is forecast to raise production by 3.8% and increase its pig herd population to 10-year record levels.”