World meat industry news

All news / World total meat production is forecast to contract in 2020

  • 17 Jun 2020, 14:31

World total meat production is forecast to fall by 1.7 percent in 2020. World pig meat output is forecast to record a sharp contraction.


According to FAO, for the second year in a row, world pig meat output is forecast to record a sharp contraction, falling to 101 million tonnes in 2020, or 8.0 percent less than in the previous year. Much of the global decline would be on account of China, but also Viet Nam, the Philippines and the USA. In China, the spread of ASF is largely behind a predicted 20 percent fall in pig meat output to 35 million tonnes, following on from the 21 percent retreat already recorded in 2019. With a string of policies launched by the Government to rescue the sector, pig farming enterprises are reported to have adopted advanced biosecurity measures. ASF outbreaks are also behind projected output falls in Viet Nam and the Philippines, whereas a smaller pig herd is forecast to bring output down in Ukraine. In the USA, the negative production outlook is mainly linked to COVID-19 market disruptions.

By contrast, moderate output increases are anticipated in the EU and the UK, Brazil, the Russian Federation, Mexico and Canada. In the EU and the UK, strong import demand, especially from China, is supporting an expansion of the sector. In Brazil, stable feed costs and large pig herd numbers are sustaining production, while in the Russian Federation output growth is underpinned by large-scale investments in new breeding and processing facilities.

World pig meat exports are forecast at 10.6 million tonnes in 2020, up 11.2 percent from last year, predominantly driven by larger anticipated imports by China, along with expected moderate increases in purchases by Viet Nam, the Philippines, Chile and Ukraine. In China, pig meat imports are expected to rise by 1.2 million tonnes or 42 percent in 2020, to reach 4.1 million tonnes, equivalent to 40 percent of the global volume of trade in pig meat. Likewise, imports by the Philippines and Viet Nam are projected to rise mainly to compensate for the production shortfalls caused by the ASF disease. Limited domestic supplies are also expected to increase imports by Ukraine. By contrast, the Republic of Korea is forecast to reduce its pig meat purchases due to a contraction in domestic food service sales.

Much of the expanded world pig meat imports in 2020 are anticipated to be met by the USA, the EU and the UK, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and Chile. Despite the anticipated small production contraction, the USA will likely see its exports surge by 13 percent, with the bulk directed to China, Mexico, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea and Australia. In the EU and the UK, increased availabilities have resulted from falling domestic pig meat consumption and rising production, which may lead to larger exports, especially to China, in the wake of newly signed agreements between China and key EU suppliers. Brazil’s pig meat exports could also rise, due to increased deliveries to China, although sales to other trading partners may fall.