The European Commission is forecasting that, following two years of declines, EU pig meat production will begin to increase again from this year.
Reporting on the EU’s latest medium-term outlook report, BPEX’s Pig Market Weekly says that the recent decline has been partly driven by the new welfare regulations introduced last year. However, the report anticipates that the new rules will have forced out some of the less-competitive producers, which will boost productivity going forward.
Growth is only expected to be modest due to environmental constraints in some of the main producer countries. This trend is forecast to continue over the coming years, meaning the report doesn’t expect production to return to 2011 levels until about 2020.
Over the projection period, consumption is set to recover slowly, reversing the decreasing trend seen since 2007 because of the economic crisis and the limited supply. However, even by the end of the period in 2023, per capita consumption of pig meat is forecast to remain below its level in 2011 at 31.8kg per head.
Pork exports are forecast to be steady during the next two years, but then to grow slowly over the rest of the decade.
Export growth is expected to be constrained by competition from the US and Brazil, where production is expected to increase significantly.