Decrease in Chinese pork production benefits competitors

By Chloe Ryan

- Last updated on GMT

Decline in Chinese pork production impacts the global market
Decline in Chinese pork production impacts the global market

Related tags International trade Rabobank Pork

Pork exporters in the EU, the US and Canada are all well positioned to benefit from a drop in Chinese pork production throughout 2015 and into 2016.

Rabobank has dubbed the decline in the Chinese hog and sow herd “astonishing”​ and said it would impact the entire global pork market this year and into 2016. Chinese pork production is forecast to drop by 3.7 million tonnes (6.5%), to 53 million tonnes (t) in 2015.

Over the past 18 months, China’s pork industry has experienced one of the largest culls on record. Rabobank lays out in its report ‘China’s Incredible Shrinking Hog Herd’ that the decline of nearly 100m head in China’s hog herd and 10m in its breeding herd is equivalent to the US, Canadian and Mexican pork sectors all disappearing from global supply in a span of less than two years.

“For 2015, Rabobank expects China’s pork production to decline by 6.5%, the third-largest decline in production in the last 40 years. This will be supported by a 600,000t increase in imports – primarily from the EU, the US and Canada in the second half of 2015,”​ said Rabobank animal protein analyst William Sawyer.

“This surge in pork trade could not come at a better time, as the global pork sector is in the midst of a supply glut after many regions have recovered from the porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus outbreak of 2014, and a number of trade bans have depressed pork prices and producer margins.”

According to the report, a 1.9 million tonne Chinese supply gap implies a 600,000t increase of pork and variety meat imports above the 1.3 million tonnes imported in 2014. Best positioned to gain from this extra demand are the leading exporters to China (the EU, the US and Canada), which all have sufficient volume available and are competitive on the Chinese market.

“This export opportunity is very attractive to a sector that has been under pressure in recent times. Capitalising on the opportunity will require processors and traders who have the right product at a competitive price; who can deliver in the coming months; and who can readily mobilise their supply chain,”​ the report stated.

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