Overall world meat production is predicted to stagnate at about 321 million tonnes in 2016. Poultry is forecast to register some growth, followed by bovine and ovine meat, while pigmeat output could decline, according to the June 2016 FAO Food Outlook.
World production of pig meat in 2016 is forecast to decrease marginally, by 0.7 percent to 116.4 million tonnes, thus registering a second year of virtual stagnation. As in 2015, lower output in China, which accounts for almost half the world total, is the main reason for the slowdown.
An unfavourable feed-pork price ratio in the country and new environmental regulations have caused farmers to reduce breeding sows, stalling growth. China’s production is projected to be 54 million tonnes, down 2.5 percent from the previous year.
Elsewhere in Asia, the Philippines and Viet Nam could boost output. Also, production in Japan and the Republic of Korea may expand, as the industry recovers from outbreaks of porcine endemic diarrhoea(PED), which reduced piglet numbers in the previous two years.
Recovery from the effects of PED has been faster in the United States, where a second year of growth is anticipated, when production could increase by 1.9 percent to a record 11.3 million tonnes. Output in Mexico also continues to recover, following a PED outbreak in 2014, and may rise in 2016 by 2.0 percent to 1.3 million tonnes.
In both countries, lower feed prices have encouraged upscaling.
Elsewhere in the Americas, favourable feed costs are forecast to boost production in Canada and Brazil.
In the Russian Federation, the pace of growth in pig meat production could quicken, due to investment in, and the growing importance of, large-scale production units.
Meanwhile, EU output is expected to fall marginally, by 0.3 percent to 23.3 million tonnes, as a result of a decline in breeding sow numbers.
Trade: second year of strong growth
Trade in pigmeat in 2016 is expected to experience a second year of growth, increasing by 4.4 percent to 7.5 million tonnes – a record level. Lower international prices have stimulated trade.
In May 2016, average export prices were 11 percent below a year earlier and almost 33 percent below those of May 2014. Most of the principal importing countries are anticipated to augment their levels of purchases, including Mexico, China, the Russian Federation, the United States, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Australia. The upward surge in demand would be more than sufficient to counterbalance anticipated declining imports by Canada, Viet Nam and Colombia.
In response to rising demand, shipments by most of the main exporting countries are projected to grow in 2016. The Americas are forecast to lead the way, assisted by post-PED industry recovery in the United States, Canada and Mexico, and generally favourable feed prices in all countries, including Brazil.
The EU is anticipated to see sales rise further, building on the vibrant growth experienced in 2015.
EU exporters have adjusted to the 2014 Russian Federation embargo by seeking alternative markets, in particular in Asia, especially China. Conversely, Brazil, which was not subject to the ban, has experienced a substantial rise in exports to the Russian Federation, which, as a single destination, may constitute as much as half of Brazil’s external sales of pigmeat in 2016.