Global pork prices recover across Q1 as trade booms

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

By Bethan Wilkins

Global pork export prices staged a recovery early in 2021, although levels remained below some of the highs seen in recent years. Looking at figures from the four leading global pork exporters, the average price climbed back to $2.84/kg in March, having averaged about $2.75/kg in the previous three months. This meant prices were back to levels last seen in November and early 2020.

All of the exporters have seen prices rise across the start of this year, most noticeably for Canadian pork. This has been supported somewhat in US dollar terms by appreciation of the Canadian dollar.

While the price has risen, the volume of pork traded has positively boomed. The amount shipped by the four main exporters during March 2021 was a new record high at 837,000 tonnes. Volumes have generally been increasing over the past few years, but the jump in March was particularly noticeable. The strong volumes largely reflect continuing strong demand from China; these imports reached over 450,000 tonnes in March. Volumes to the Philippines have also been escalating. Similarly, it is a rise in export prices achieved to China in March that has led to the higher global average price for the month. Recently there have been reports that demand and prices on this key market have started to wane, which may start to dampen global prices going forward.

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