EU forecasts further decline in pig meat production - AHDB

This follows a decline of 5.6% in 2022
calendar icon 4 April 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

In the latest EU short-term outlook, production of pig meat is forecast to decline by a further 5% in 2023, according to a recent report from AHDB analyst Freya Shuttleworth. This follows a decline of 5.6% in 2022, the lowest production in almost a decade. The decline is driven by several factors, including shrinking breeding sow numbers. 

Shuttleworth said it is assumed that the ASF situation on the continent will not see dramatic change in 2023 but will continue to trigger strong responses from affected countries and trading partners.

"The tight supply will continue to support higher prices which currently sit at record levels," she wrote. "This will result in EU pig meat being less competitive on the global market. Exports from the EU are forecast to decline by a further 3% in 2023, following a decline of 16% in 2022 which was primarily driven by a 50% reduction in volumes shipped to China despite growth in other regions."

Shuttleworth believes the decline in pig meat production in the EU could lead to opportunities for both domestic and export markets. 

"As EU pork prices lose their advantage to the UK it may lead to a higher market share of domestic product being made available at retail," she wrote. "It may also lead to other countries who usually look to the EU when sourcing their pork imports considering the UK as well, although this may likely be limited by forecasted increases in production in other major exporters such as the US. These will be interesting developments to watch as the year progresses."

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