USDA figures support price rise “glimmer” by end of 2016

The global pig industry looks set for another challenging year with just a “glimmer of hope” that pork prices will rise towards the end of 2016, according to a fresh analysis by AHDB Pork of the latest figures published by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Noting that global prices have fallen steadily since October 2014, the USDA summary shows global export prices averaging $2.38 per kg in December 2015, nearly 20% lower than a year earlier. Since then, however, the EU price has stabilised and going forward this may provide some support to global prices.

“The USDA report forecasts that pigmeat output from the major producing countries will decrease by 1% in 2016, to 109 million tonnes,” comments AHDB Pork. “This would be the first decrease in global production since 2006 with the driving factor for this being the continued decrease in Chinese production, although this is forecast to be less severe than the decline experienced in 2015.

“USDA also expects that the EU will record an overall decrease in production in 2016, although European Commission forecasts do not see this happening until the end of the year, with production levels still increasing in the first half of 2016.

“While all the other major producing countries are forecast to increase production again in 2016, the majority are doing this at a slower rate than the year before, with Mexico, Japan and the Philippines the notable exceptions.

“In summary, therefore, 2016 looks set to be another challenging year for the major exporters in the global pig industry. Production is still largely increasing (around the world) and, while exports can provide an outlet for oversupply, these levels are not growing at the same rate as 2015.

“This may cause the global price to remain under pressure, although this may ease slightly towards the end of the year as decreases in production levels are realised.”

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