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USDA Bullish About World Meat Trade (Jun 07)

by 5m Editor
5 June 2007, at 12:00am

By Chris Harris, Senior Editor, ThePigSite. Our snapshot of the ongoing global pig industry trends as reported in June 2007 Whole Hog Brief. To read the full detailed analysis including all the commentary and graphical data, subscribe to the publication.

Figures for world pork production have been revised down, following an adjustment for China. Production now is expected to be about three per cent below previous forecasts for 2007 according to the USDA.

The Whole Hog says that despite the revised figures, China's production and consumption this year is still expected to be up by four per cent.

Brazil's export figures are not only expected to be recovering from the ban by Russia because of foot and mouth disease, but up in other smaller markets such as Ukraine, Angola and Georgia.

The USDA figures also show lower hog numbers in Canada and prospects for an increase in live exports to the US.

EU exports are expected to rise by about five per cent with more exports to Romania.

Hopes for Barbecue Season

While there are hopes that the barbecue season will give the market a boost in Europe and North America, the Whole Hog says there are concerns about the rising price of feed.

It says that the North American prices have continued the strong upswing from April and live hog demand in the US is also continuing to be strong.

Producer prices have recovered in the EU to some degree as supplies of pigs for slaughter tightened and as the barbecue season starts.

In May the average producer prices in the EU were 7.2 per cent down on the same time last year.

In the UK, the number of slaughterhouses is continuing to diminish. In 1996 there were 332 abattoirs for pig slaughter in the UK and by 2006 the number had fallen to 180.

Brazilian pork and beef exports, 1997 -2007
Source: USDA, Livestock and Poultry: World Markets and Trade

In Brazil, the Whole Hog reports that beef production and exports are continuing to expand, despite the threat from foot and mouth disease in October 2005.

However, it says that although Brazil's pork production is forecast to be 3.5 per cent higher, exports have been held back by trade restrictions force on the country because of FMD.

In China, rising prices of pork because of tight supplies and increase production costs are threatening to boost inflation.

The Whole Hog reports that Chinese agriculture ministry figures show live pig prices 71.3 per cent higher than a month previously and pork 29.3 per cent higher.

US Exports Fall

US pork exports fell in March by 11.7 per cent on the same time last year despite being up on February by 4.2 per cent.

During March exports to Japan rose by 17.5 per cent over February and 17.8 per cent year on year.

However, first quarter exports to Canada were down by 2.1 per cent.

The Whole Hog shows that Australian exports fell in February by 10.8 per cent compared to last year, while Japanese imports rose in the same month by five per cent on January figures and 11.7 per cent year on year.

At the same time South Korea's imports continue to grow. During April South Korea imported 28,720 tonnes - a rise of 19.4 per cent on April last year.