EU pig meat production to grow less than expected in 2020

Thursday, 15 October 2020

The latest short-term outlook* from the European Commission forecasts EU27 pig meat production to remain relatively stable (-0.5%) year-on-year. This is a downward revision from the summer short-term outlook.

Pig meat production during the first half of 2020 was constrained by lower slaughter in several of the major producing countries, due to coronavirus disrupting both processing and demand. In addition, the recent discovery of ASF in German wild boar and subsequent trade restrictions have brought increased price pressure.

Despite EU exports being strong during the first half of the year, the recent trade restrictions placed on German pork by key Asian markets have led the Commission to revise down its export forecast to growth of +2% year-on-year.

The development of EU exports will be influenced by how ASF cases are managed in Germany (and indeed other nations), and whether key trading partners allow trade with ASF-free regions of the country. Other EU exporters may fill some gaps in supply, although it is uncertain whether they could compensate volumes entirely. Looking further ahead to 2021, the Commission believes EU27 exports could fall by 10%, due in part to the German situation, but also to the expectation that China may increase its own pork production. We will be monitoring trade and production data as it becomes available.

*As of 2020, the outlooks exclude the UK but assume frictionless trade with the EU for 2020 and 2021.

Hannah Clarke

Analyst - Livestock

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