Pork Export Concentration Potential Long-Term Risk, Reports Rabobank

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Global pork demand has rebounded following the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic disruption in most parts of the world, yet supply remains constrained in many Asian markets, according to Rabobank’s Q4 Pork Quarterly report. This imbalance continues to support strong export demand from the rest of the world, resulting in sharply higher pork values.

Globally, processors’ ability to respond also remains constrained by labor availability, which limits packer capacity and efficiency. In Europe, new African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreaks add further limitations.

“Hog producers face a challenging outlook, given rising feed costs, weaker economic trends, and slower export growth as China rebuilds its domestic hog supply,” said Christine McCracken, senior analyst for animal protein at food and agribusiness division of RaboResearch.

Hog prices in China have moderated with the increase in supply, pressuring margins for producers paying record prices for piglets.

In the EU-27+UK region, hog markets fell sharply following the discovery of ASF in a wild boar in Germany during September. Subsequent trade bans on German pork exports are forcing a redistribution of pork within the European Union and creating additional supply chain disruption.

Hog prices are up sharply in the United States due to strong exports and tight stocks.

In Brazil exports have grown steadily throughout the year, reaching record levels and surpassing 2019’s full year volumes already by August.