According to ABARES' forecast, imports of processed pig products have grown from 15 per cent to 48 per cent of the market share in the last decade - and it's a growth that's not slowing down.
The latest outlook tips medium term growth in imported product with most domestic farmers looking to focus on fresh meat production instead.
"The weighted average Australian over-the-hooks price of pigs is forecast to fall by 2 per cent in 2012-13 to around 275 cents a kilogram. Lower forecast prices of feed grains, which account for about 55 per cent of total production costs, are expected to support higher domestic production in 2012-13."
With the emphasis on fresh meat production, the share of the processed market for Australian produce will decline sharply in the next several years.
According to ABARES "given the increasing emphasis on the fresh pig meat market, the proportion of domestic processed pig meat production relative to total domestic pig meat production has fallen, from 37 per cent in 2003-04 to 20 per cent in 2010-11. By 2016-17 this share is projected to decline further, to around 15 per cent, as a result of strong import competition. This represents about a 20 per cent fall in production of Australian processed pig meat over the medium-term."
Tuesday March 6, 2012/ABC/ Australia.