According to FAO, world meat production is anticipated to grow modestly in 2014 to 311.8 million tonnes, an increase of 3.3 million tonnes or 1.1 percent compared with 2013.
Growth is anticipated to be concentrated in the developing countries, which are also the main centres of rising demand. At the international level, prices have remained high by historical standards for the past three years. The FAO Meat Price Index averaged 186 in April 2014, unchanged when compared with a year earlier. Falling feed prices have facilitated some price decrease for poultry and pigmeat, while prices of bovine and ovine meat have remained firm, reflecting limited export availability.
Global meat trade is forecast to increase moderately, by 1.4 percent to 31.3 million tonnes. At this level, growth would be less than the average for recent years, reflecting production constraints in some of the principal exporting countries. There are marked differences in projected trade for the different varieties of meat, with growth forecast for bovine and poultry meat and a decline for ovine and pigmeat. Poultry remains the main product traded, representing 43 percent of the total, followed by bovine, pig and ovine meat, respectively.
Continuing several years of expansion, production of pigmeat is expected to grow by 1.1 percent to a record level of 115.5 million tonnes in 2014, assisted by lower feed costs.Most of the increase is forecast to come from developing countries, where over 60 percent of production originates, but output is also expected to expand in the developed countries.
Asia is the leading pigmeat producing region, accounting for more than half of the total. Strong consumer demand and government support policies are anticipated to boost China’s output by 1.6 percent to 55.7 million tonnes, representing 48 percent of world output. Elsewhere in Asia, slight to moderate growth is forecast in Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan, Thailand and Indonesia. In the Republic of Korea, reduced output is anticipated as a result of a smaller breeding herd and the introduction of a new grading system that provides incentives for lowering slaughter weights.
In the Americas, Brazil, the world’s fourth largest producer, is set to increase output to a record 3.6 million tonnes, stimulated by improved prices and reduced feed costs. Steady growth is also anticipated for Mexico, with output underpinned by improved genetics and productivity, which are translating into more piglets per litter and higher animal weights.
Production in the EU, the second most important producer after China, at 22.8 million tonnes, is expected to grow only slightly due to limitations imposed by compliance with animal welfare regulations relating to the housing of sows.
In the United States, which ranks third in world output, the spread of porcine epidemic diarrhoea (PED), which causes increased piglet mortality, is projected to bring about a 1.9 percent fall in output. Canada’s production is forecast to increase only slightly due to some smaller producers ceasing operations.
In the Russian Federation, reduced feed prices and government policies favouring large-scale farms are expected to prompt a 2.9 percent expansion, building on more than a decade of growth. Investment in new farms and improved profitability should also boost production in the Ukraine.
Thursday May 8, 2014/ FAO.