Wednesday, 13 October 2021
By Bethan Wilkins
The EU Commission’s latest short-term outlook forecasts a 1.7% rise in pig meat production for 2021 and an, albeit smaller, increase of 0.6% for the following year. With pig numbers relatively stable in recent years, rising productivity/carcase weights will be the key drivers of this growth. Difficult margins due to low prices and high feed costs are expected to take a toll on the sow herd; however, this only depresses the rate of production growth, rather than preventing it entirely.
Exports in 2021 are forecast to be 6% higher than in 2020, reflecting strong demand from Asia, though the key Chinese market has cooled in recent months. Another 7% rise in shipments is expected next year. Ongoing low prices may be needed to draw out this export demand, though it is possible there may be some recovery in Chinese import requirements in the coming months. The USDA attaché to Beijing has forecast a rise in Chinese pork import demand in 2022. This comes on the back of lower production due to some destocking this year following disease challenges and falling profitability.
Pig meat consumption in the EU is expected to increase (+0.6%) this year as exports are unable to keep pace with rising production. However, a 1.2% decline is forecast next year as production growth slows while export growth continues.
Overall EU meat production in 2021 is forecast to increase by 0.6%, with a further 0.5% rise in 2022. Rising pig meat production is seen in both years, offsetting lower quantities of beef, while trends for poultry and sheep meat are more varied.
The full outlook, which also provides forecasts for production and use of arable crops and dairy commodities, can be downloaded here.
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