Global pigmeat production is forecast by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in line with the previous forecast in January at 114.3m tonnes this year.

However, there won’t be consistent performance around the major pig-producing areas of the world.

EU pork production is forecast by the USDA to fall 3% to 21.8m tonnes in 2023, reflecting weak producer margins and ever more demanding environmental regulations.

The forecast for production in China is increased by 500,000t to 55.5m tonnes in the April forecast compared with January, the highest since before African swine fever.

There is also a bounce forecast for production in Vietnam, up 6% to 3.3m tonnes, but there are small declines forecast for Canada, Mexico, USA, South Korea and Japan.


The drop in production in the main exporting countries will mean a drop in the volume of pigmeat traded in 2023, with the USDA predicting a 3% decline in its April forecast.

Demand from China halved in 2022 compared with 2021, as the pig herd rebuild was completed.

The USDA is forecasting a similar level of demand at 2.2m tonnes in 2023, a long way from the peak 5.3m tonnes imported in 2020 and 4.3m tonnes imported in 2021.

The USDA has revised downward import demand from Philippines to 525,000t compared with 600,000t in the January outlook, with Japan forecast to be marginally lower at 1.47m tonnes and Mexico marginally higher at 1.275m tonnes.

The UK import demand is expected to remain as forecasted in January at 860,000t, as is South Korea at 725,000t.

Export trade

The drop in production forecast for the EU is reflected in a reduced forecast for exports, down to 3.75m tonnes compared with 3.95m tonnes forecast in January.

The forecast for US exports is revised upwards to 2.9m tonnes, as is Brazil, which is now predicted to export almost 1.4m tonnes in 2023.

As with beef, Brazilian pigmeat exports are on an upward trend over recent years, having been at 861,000t in 2019.

The other major exporter of pigmeat is Canada and it is forecast to reduce exports in 2023 to 1.36m tonnes, compared with 1.4m tonnes forecast in January.


Global chicken production forecast by the USDA is revised up 1% to 103.4m tonnes for 2023, with an increase of 130,000t to 14.875m tonnes forecast for Brazil and a 30,000t increase to 11m tonnes forecast for the EU compared with the January outlook.

Global trade is forecast to increase by 1%, with the biggest increase coming from Brazil, where the forecast is for a 6% increase to 4.75m tonnes exported in 2023, compared with 4.56m tonnes predicted in January.

EU exports are forecast to drop by 110,000t and Thailand exports are forecast to fall by 10,000t compared with the January forecast.

Japan is forecast to continue being the top importer, taking 1.1m tonnes, followed by Mexico on 910,000t and the UK at 850,000t.

While the top three exporters are forecast to be marginally lower, the forecast for the EU is to increase exports by 25,000t to 790,000t for 2023.

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