Following a modest recovery in CY 2011, the Australian pig meat industry is projected to continue to recover in CY 2012. Inventory, production, and consumption are all forecast to increase at modest rates in CY 2012. The historically high value of the Australian dollar is expected to see imports of pig meat increase, while exports are expected to remain flat in CY 2012.
Closing inventory is forecast to increase modestly to 2.45 million head, reflecting a steady recovery following the adverse conditions from CY 2002 to CY 2009. Despite the increase, this forecast remains well below the ten-year average of 2.74 million head established using historic ABARES data.
Total slaughter for CY 2012 is forecast to increase modestly to 4.75 million head, a similar increase to the year previous.
Production is forecast to increase modestly to 350 TMT in CY 2012. This increase remains slightly higher than the forecast increase for slaughter and relies on a continuation of the steady increase in average carcass weights. Increased fodder supply is expected to see carcass weights continue to increase following the end of the drought, albeit at a steady rate.
Exports are forecast to remain largely unchanged in CY 2012 at 42 TMT. The strong Australian dollar in CY 2011, despite easing somewhat recently, is expected to continue into CY 2012 and this will likely constrain export returns and, in turn, export volumes.
Imports are expected to increase around three percent to 180 TMT in CY 2012, higher than the forecast rate of increase for domestic production or exports. The high value of the Australian dollar has greatly increased domestic purchasing power for imports, particularly from the US. The long-term, positive trend in pork consumption is also expected to assist pork imports for the foreseeable future. Official trade data reflect imports from Canada and Denmark declining slowly in CY 2011 (year-to-date). However, imports from the US over the same period are increasing strongly in response to more favorable changes in currency valuations.
FAS-USDA/ United States.