There is a distinctly mixed picture on the global pork production front, with the USDA forecasting production growth in China, Canada, and Brazil, offset by declines in the EU, Mexico, and the Philippines.
Overall global production is predicted to reach 114.8m tonnes in 2023, according to the USDA’s latest forecasts. But EU pigmeat production has seen large falls in capacity so far this year, and is forecast to end the year 5.5% below 2022 volumes, according to the latest EU short term outlook.
This is driven by contraction in the female breeding herd, high feed costs, and the ever-looming threat of African swine fever, AHDB analyst Isabel Shohet said.
“Pig prices have reached historic highs, up 30% from June 2022, as supplies tighten. Domestic demand for pig meat in the EU remains high but is likely to fall by 4.5% to 30.4kg as supply is unable to meet demand, and high prices turn customers off to pork, switching to cheaper meats such as poultry, or reducing meat consumption,” she said.
A fall in domestic production capacity in the EU has led to a drop in exports, forecast to end the year down 12% from 2022. Due to high domestic prices, losses have been seen in high value export markets such as US and Australia, and lower value such as the Philippines, with further declines of exports to China, as a result of a lack of price competitiveness, she added.
Elsewhere, Chinese production is on the up with higher-than-expected slaughter, as producers seek to reduce herd size and maintain a flow of profit. Brazilian pork production has been revised up 8% from the previous forecast to 1.5m tonnes as feed prices fall, and strong demand from the Asian markets incentivise production.
But Production in the Philippines is expected to fall due to resurgence of ASF in key producing areas, down 3% from the previous forecast.
Global exports are forecast at 10.8m tonnes, with higher volumes from the US and Brazil, who are able to benefit from reduced exports from the EU and Canada, allowing gains in market share in South Korea, Philippines, and China, Ms Shohet added.