EU - The recent discovery of African Swine Fever in Poland has the potential to impact significantly the European pig meat market.
Poland is a much more important player in the EU pork market than Lithuania, where the African Swine Fever virus was discovered in January.
Despite recent declines, Poland was the fourth largest EU producer of pig meat last year, producing 1.7 million tonnes or about eight per cent of EU production.
It is also a major trader (imports and exports) of pork, processed pig meat and live pigs.
The location of the case is in the Podlaskie region, in the East of Poland, very close to the border with Belarus. Although the main concentration of pig production in Poland is further west, in 2013 there were over 340,000 pigs, including around 30,000 sows in the region. Therefore, even regional restrictions would have a significant impact on the Polish industry. However, far more significant would be any restrictions on Polish trade.
Poland is the seventh largest exporter of pork in the EU and the third largest importer. It is also the third largest exporter of sausages and the second largest exporter of other processed pig meat. It is the second largest EU importer of live pigs. Details of Polish trade are provided below. All of this means that any restrictions on exports (or imports) have the potential to cause major disruptions to the EU market - over and above those already caused by the Russia ban on EU imports.
The scale and impact of any disruption will depend on the nature of any trade restrictions. If all Polish exports are stopped, this might actually provide a boost to producers elsewhere in the EU, since it will remove significant quantities of pork from the EU market. This might help to offset the excess supply following the Russian ban, particularly if processors elsewhere require additional supplies to allow them to fill any gap in supplies of processed products.
Conversely, if the outbreak leads to other non-EU markets restricting imports of EU pork then it could accelerate the price falls already seen in response to the Russian ban. However, there has thus far been no sign that other countries are planning such a move.
|Polish pig meat and pig trade statistics (January-November 2013)
|FRESH/FROZEN PORK||Volume (tonnes)|
|OTHER PROCESSED PIG MEAT||Volume (tonnes)|
|Imports (Finisher pigs)|
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