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Is International Pig Meat Demand in Recovery?

04 September 2010

Following a difficult 2009 for international pig meat trade as leading importing nations worldwide severely restricted their volumes purchased, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) in their latest Global Outlook for Agricultural Commodities has predicted a recovery in international pigmeat trade, writes David Owens, Meat Division, Bord Bia.

They have forecast that international trade this year may reach up to 6 million tonnes, a three per cent increase on 2009 volumes, compared to an eight per cent fall in 2009 on the year previous.

However, this forecast is based upon a previously predicted increase in US and Brazilian exports, which at this stage of the year look unlikely to reach their expected levels.

There is evidence of an increase in EU pig meat exports as the decline of the value of the Euro has made European produce more competitive in the international marketplace.

Exports of meat, fats and offal’s for the January to May period this year to third countries have increased by 13 per cent to just under 1 million tonnes.

Within these volumes, of which fats and offal account for close to a half, the largest increase has been with fresh and frozen meat, increasing by 22 per cent.

Exports to Russia have doubled over this period amid a recovery in Russian demand and a lack of product available from the US, with increased volumes also evident to Japan, Hong Kong and Australia.

Offal exports over the period have increased by 10 per cent.

The main beneficiaries of these improved conditions have been the Danish and German industries.

Provisional figures available for Irish exports also show an increase in exports to International markets from 1,600 to 3,600 tn for the first quarter this year.

EU Fresh and Frozen Pig Meat Exports
Jan-May 2009 & 2010

Source - EU Commission

August 2010

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