USDA forecasts global pork production and Chinese demand to increase

Thursday, 6 August 2020

The USDA has released its latest view on world markets and trade for livestock. 2020 forecast global pork production has been raised by 2% to 96 million tonnes, still 5.5% lower than in 2019. This is due to higher than expected pork production in China, as producers rebuild their herds to take advantage of high domestic prices in the wake of African Swine Fever (ASF).


Closures at slaughter facilities in the United States, and COVID-19 restrictions have reduced forecast production there by 2%, to 13 million tonnes in 2020. A 2% reduction in production is also expected in Brazil (to 4 million tonnes) as reduced slaughtering is expected.  EU production is thought to have had only minor COVID-19 related disruptions. Strong export demand is expected underpin production growth in Canada.


Altogether, global pork trade is expected to increase to 10.9 million tonnes. This is due to Chinese imports increasing to 4.4 million tonnes in 2020, 0.5 million tonnes more than previously forecast in April. Despite disruptions from COVID-19, and the disruption to the economy and foodservice, Chinese demand for imported meat remains strong because of ASF. This strong import demand has helped increase China’s share of the global imports to 43%.

Jennie Tanner

Analyst - Dairy & Livestock

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