EU pig meat production is forecast to decline by nearly 5% in 2022, due to a combination high input costs, the impact of new environmental regulation in some countries and reduced exports due to African swine fever.
The summer European Commission outlook report for the various agricultural commodities says these factors have outweighed the impact of the rapid EU pigmeat price recovery since February 2022, with prices 17% higher year-on-year over April and May.
Production is due to decline strongly in Germany, -14%, Italy, -7.5% and Poland, -14%, countries where ASF continues to hamper exports.
Production is expected to fall by 3% in Belgium and stabilise in the Netherlands amid concerns among farmers over new restrictive environmental regulations, which have been a factor in large-scale protests in the Netherlands.
In contrast, Spain, the EU’s biggest producer, is predicted to continue its upward trend, increasing production by 3%.
Overall, EU pigmeat production is expected to decrease by 4.7% in 2022, with demand also forecast to fall. In 2022, EU domestic use may decrease by 3.3% to average 31.7 kg per capita, the Commission predicts.
UK trade volumes growing, as China trade takes big hit
Overall, EU pigmeat exports are expected to decrease by 9.6% in 2022, while total EU pigmeat imports are due to increase by 28%.
Pork shipments to China are forecast to decrease by a massive 40% in 2022, close to pre-ASF levels, as China continues to restore its pigmeat production capacity.
EU pigmeat exports to other overseas destinations are due to increase this year, including +20% to Japan, the Philippines, the US and Australia.
Meanwhile, EU-UK trade continues to recover after the impact of new Brexit restrictions introduced in 2021. EU exports to the UK are forecast to increase by 10% in 2022, almost reaching their 2019 levels, while EU pigmeat imports from the UK are expected to increase by 34%.