October 10, 2022


ASF, high feed costs impact growth of EU pigmeat production


Sustained high feed costs and African swine fever (ASF) continue to limit the growth of the European Union's pigmeat production, according to the European Commission.


According to the autumn edition of the short-term outlook for EU agricultural markets in 2022, EU pigmeat production is expected to decrease by 5% in 2022.


Germany, Poland, Belgium, Romania and Italy are the most impacted, with Netherlands and France to a lesser extent. ASF is still taking a heavy toll on German production (-10% in January-June 2022 year-on-year).


Moreover, Spanish production growth (+1.6%) does not seem as strong as in 2021 (+3.7%). In 2023, EU pigmeat production is expected to decrease further slightly, by another 0.7% due to continued high input costs and the effects of ASF.


Supported by strong demand and tight supply, EU pigmeat prices continue evolving fast at record levels: during the mid-July to mid-September 2022 period, they were 28% above the 2017-2021 average, year-on-year. This makes exported EU pigmeat relatively less competitive.


Exports to China stabilise at 2017-2018 levels (-72% in Jan-Jun). To bring domestic pigmeat prices down and ease the market, the Chinese government had released some pigmeat stocks. This move is not likely to mitigate the sharp reduction in EU exports to China. EU pigmeat exports are being diverted to other destinations like Japan (+45% in Jan-Jun), the Philippines (+40%), the United States (+35%) and Australia (+66%).


Overall, EU pigmeat exports may decrease by 17% in 2022 and 3% in 2023. EU pigmeat imports from the United Kingdom have not yet fully recovered: assuming a 30% increase in 2022, they would still be 29% below 2017-2019 average.


Overall, EU pigmeat imports are expected to increase by 27% in 2022 and 17% in 2023.


 - European Commission

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