World Pork Trade Overview - April 2009

By USDA Foreign Agricultural Service - This article provides an overview of global poultry trade predictions for 2009. Global imports of pork for the year are expected to be down due to difficult trading conditions in Russia, Ukraine and China.
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World Meat Demand to Fall

Year-to-Year Changes for 2005 to 2009

For the first time in over a decade, global imports of pork, beef, and broiler meats are all forecast to decline in a single year. Deterioration in the global economic situation, restrictive trade policies, the stronger US dollar and changing market conditions, are among the reasons for falling demand in some major importing countries.

The drop in global pork imports can mostly be attributed to a combination of cost-prohibitive Russian out-of-quota tariffs, Ukraine's worsening economic conditions and currency devaluation, and greater Chinese pork production. These three countries account for over 20 per cent of world demand, but nearly 80 per cent of the year-to-year drop.

Pork: 2009 Revised Forecast Overview

Global production up, driven by Chinese growth

Production is now forecast up two per cent from last year, as expansion in China (nearly 50 per cent of world production) overshadows lower production for most other major producers. Chinese growth is fueled by continued government subsidies and strong domestic demand; production has fully recovered from the 2007 blue ear disease outbreak. Canadian production is also up in part because of higher slaughter rates as live hog exports are lower and herd downsizing continues. However in the United States, reductions in both the domestic herd and Canadian live swine imports contribute to lower pork production. While in Brazil, production is constrained by the credit crunch on traders and packers, and less import demand from Russia.

Slight consumption growth fueled by China and the United States

A stronger Chinese economy in the latter half of 2009 is expected to spur consumption and more than offsets drops in Russian consumption due to trade-limiting import quotas. US consumption remains relatively flat as lower production is offset by lower exports and higher imports.

World imports forecast to drop off steeply

Global pork imports are now forecast to drop 13 per cent from last year, with lower imports expected for 8 of the top 10 importing countries. High Russian tariff rates for out-of-quota pork, economic weakness and credit problems are now expected to limit imports to the quota. Chinese imports will shrink as higher production supported by a production subsidy programme reduces the need for larger imports. Less Ukrainian imports are expected following exceptionally high 2008 imports, economic weakness and high imported pork prices because of currency devaluation.

Global exports cut

Pork exports are now cut by 12 per cent from last year with global economic weakness, the credit crunch and trade restrictive policies. The United States is slashed coming off of record 2008 exports as sales to major markets are limited by reduced imports by China and trade restrictive policies in Russia. The EU is now forecast down 27 per cent from last year as a result of tighter supplies and deteriorating export opportunities. Brazil is forecast to fall below 2008 due to the credit crunch and limited demand from Russia, Brazil's most important market.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

April 2009
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