According the latest pork outlook report from the USDA, the global production of pig meat is forecast to drop by 1% to 109.3 million tonnes (mt) in comparison to last year. This, according to Stephen Howarth, market intelligence manager at UK levy board AHDB Pork, is around 2% lower than estimates from October 2015 on the production of pork internationally.
The slight decline in global pork production is largely the fault of several challenges facing the world’s largest pig meat producer, China. It’s economy has cooled and is now only growing at a rate of about 7% annually – causing widespread panic in global stock markets. But pressures on the profitability of domestic production, coupled with complex issues on environmental regulation, have caused China to ease off on its pork business.
Russia’s pork growth
In October 2015, the USDA predicted China’s pork output would see a year-on-year increase, but when China reported its economic slowdown in January 2016, this outlook changed. As a result, the USDA now predicts a year-on-year decline of 3% to 53.5mt.
Despite the overall decline, EU pork production is expected to exceed October’s forecast by 1% to around 23.2mt. This, however, is still 1% below the 2015 level as lowly pig prices resulted in a shrinking of Europe’s pig herd.
Production of pork for the US is expected to grow by 2% to a record level of 11.3mt. Brazil and Russia are also predicted to enjoy increased pork production by 2% and 3% respectively in 2016.