USDA predicts increased global pork production in 2014

The growth in global pig meat production is expected to continue with output expected to reach 108.9 million tonnes in 2014, according to forecasts published by the USDA.

BPEX’s Pig Market Weekly reports that this would represent a 1% increase compared with the estimate for this year, and is 3% up on the 2012 figure.

As expected, growth will largely be driven by China, with the country projected to account for over half of the world’s pig meat production for the first time in 2014. Rising incomes in China have driven the desire for a more protein-rich diet and therefore higher demand has encouraged production during the past few years. In spite of poor returns, government subsidies on sows have helped Chinese farmers to expand production.

Away from China, 2014 pig meat production in the majority of the key producing countries is set to record a modest increase compared with 2013. This is largely based on expectations of lower feed costs in the coming year. The US is the third largest pig meat producer and output is likely to increase on higher slaughter rates and heavier carcase weights.

Production in Brazil is also expected to rise marginally on the back of better producer returns. In Russia, the government’s pork-support programme, designed to subsidise interest rates on investment in production facilities, is likely to boost output.

In contrast, recovery of the South Korean pig industry may come to a halt with a likely decline due to a smaller breeding herd following profitability issues.

Increased global pig meat production is likely to be translated into higher global trade, with stronger demand expected, particularly from some Asian markets.

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