Recovery in global pork production to drive exports
Global pork production is expected to increase by 1% in 2017 to 110.7 million tonnes cwe, according to the latest USDA global outlook report.
This in turn will fuel export growth which is forecast to increase by 5%, although this represents a considerable slow down compared to the 15% rise of 2016. The majority of the expected production increase is driven by the US and Russia, more than offsetting a forecast decline in Chinese output.
Exports of US pork to destinations such as Mexico, South Korea and Colombia are expected to rise this year, driven partly by relatively low prices. However, it is likely that the US will face stiff competition from the EU in terms of trade into Asian markets, especially China.
The USDA currently have Chinese imports of pork pegged at 2.3 million tonnes in 2017, an increase of 5% on 2016. This though is a marked change in developments compared with the more than doubling of trade in 2016. Japan is the second largest global importer and volumes are forecast to be relatively unchanged in 2017. Of the other Far East markets a further modest increase in South Korean, Hong Kong and Philippines imports are anticipated. All these last four markets are important for EU exporters, accounting for one third of the EU pork trade.
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Leo Colby, Consultant