FAO predicts global pig meat trade will decline in 2013

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has forecast that the global trade in pig meat will decrease by 300,000 tonnes (4%) in 2013 after increasing by 200,000 tonnes in 2012.

The prediction, made in the organisation’s June Food Outlook report, is the result of an expected drop in production from exporting countries combined with increased output from importing countries that will reduce the need for trade this year.

The contraction is in contrast to the expected further growth in the total global meat market of 300,000 tonnes (1%) as a result of increases for all other meats. Trade in beef and sheep meat is forecast to rise by 5% and 6% respectively, with poultry meat trade expected to increase by a more modest 2%.

Global production of meat is also forecast to increase in 2013 in response to rising demand in developing countries and easing back in production costs. In recent years high feed costs have been an issue for the pig and poultry sectors in particular being especially dependant on concentrated feed. However, feed prices have fallen back during the second half of 2012 and early 2013 which has made meat production more profitable again.

The FAO forecasts indicate that global production of feed grains will increase during 2013/14 and so probably resulting in further downward pressure on prices.

As a result of all of these factors, long-term global meat production growth is expected to continue with increases for all four major meat types forecast in 2013. Pig meat is expected to show a growth of nearly 2%, the sharpest rise after poultry meat.

Growth in pig meat production, though, is only expected in developing countries that account for two thirds of global output; a decline is expected in developed countries.

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