The European Commission estimates a growth in pork exports from the market. In its Short-Term Outlook for EU Agricultural Markets in 2019 And 2020, it estimates that the surge of pig meat demand from China due to the spread of African Swine Fever will push EU exports and prices up in 2019. It said believes that production will remain stable in 2019, albeit limited by a reduced breeding herd and environmental restrictions. Production growth should pick up in 2020 as Chinese demand continues.
The EU also reported that prices have risen sharply since mid-March, for both pig meat and piglets, driven by the surge of Chinese exports, reaching the high levels of 2017.
The report went on to say that the spread of ASF in China has created a gap between production and consumption levels that cannot be compensated by imports in the short term. Its experts estimate a drop of 20-35% of Chinese production in 2019, which would represent up to twice the current pork world trade.
Among the main EU producers, only Spain increased production encouraged by rising exports. By contrast, production fell significantly in Germany, the Netherlands and Poland.
Per capita, EU consumption is expected to decline slightly this year (0.5kg), largely as higher pig prices turn consumers to other proteins, particularly poultry.