The USDA has revised its global pigmeat production forecast for 2022 down slightly to 104m tonnes as the collapse in pig values in China has led to higher than expected slaughterings and a forecast of tighter supplies of slaughter ready pigs next year.
The forecast is for 43.8m of Chinese pigmeat production in 2022, down 5% on estimates for 2021 by the USDA.
As production has increased in China, the value of pigs has collapsed from the record highs of recent years.
Following a weak global pigmeat market in 2021, the USDA is forecasting pigmeat traded globally to increase to 12.8m tonnes
At the end of September, Bord Bia’s China office reported that live hog prices had fallen to CNY11.26/kg, (€1.51/kg), less than one-third of the August 2020 value of CNY37.00/kg (€4.95/kg), with most of the fall taking place since February this year.
Following a weak global pigmeat market in 2021, the USDA is forecasting pigmeat traded globally to increase to 12.8m tonnes as reduced domestic supplies in China increases the demand for imports.
The extent of how China impacts on the global market is reflected by the fact that it is forecast to purchase 4.750m tonnes of this traded pigmeat in 2022.
Philippines to reduce
After a surge in demand from Philippines where imports are estimated by the USDA at 500,000t in 2021, the volume is expected to drop back in 2022 to a still high 375,000t. This is the outworking of the government restoring import tariffs and quotas which had been reduced in response to the outbreak of African swine fever (ASF).
Japan is forecast to increase from 1.4m tonnes to 1.425m tonnes, Mexico from 1.1m tonnes to 1.125m tonnes and South Korea from 550,000t to 600,000t
This is estimated to have cut production by 40% to 1m tonnes in 2021.
Demand from other large pigmeat-importing countries is forecast to be marginally increased in the latest USDA forecast.
Japan is forecast to increase from 1.4m tonnes to 1.425m tonnes, Mexico from 1.1m tonnes to 1.125m tonnes and South Korea from 550,000t to 600,000t.
The UK, meanwhile, is expected to import 20,000t less in 2022 at 740,000t.
EU the world’s biggest exporter
The EU is forecast to continue as the world’s biggest pigmeat exporter keeping exports above 5m tonnes for the third year in a row in 2022, though EU production is expected to fall marginally by 20,000t to 23.66m tonnes.
European Commission data for January to July 2021 shows the number of pigs processed in the EU up 2.5% and Irish production is running 4.5% ahead of the same period last year.
China, the biggest market for EU exports by a distance, took just over 2m tonnes between January and July 2021
For the same period, EU pigmeat exports are at 3.7m tonnes, up from 3.4m tonnes in the same period last year.
China, the biggest market for EU exports by a distance, took just over 2m tonnes between January and July 2021, while Philippines jumped to second place taking 241,000t – a massive jump on the 90,000t it took in the same period last year.
For the first six months of 2021 to the end of June, China imported over 40,000t of Irish pigmeat, which is almost double the 22,000t it imported from Irish exporters in the same period in 2019.
After the EU, the US is the next biggest exporter of pigmeat in the world, with the USDA forecasting its volume to reach 3.265m tonnes in 2022, broadly in line with 2021 export volumes.
US pigmeat exports have been performing strongly in 2021 with volumes up 1.5% between January and August, at just over 2m tonnes, and value up 10% to $5.62bn according to the US Meat Export Federation.