According to Commission "Short - Term Outlook for EU arable crops, dairy and meat", in 2016, EU pigmeat exports are expected to reach a record level at 2.7 million tonnes (+24% on annual basis) thanks to the boost in exports to China. The current negotiations for access to other markets closed due to SPS reasons could even further improve the export situation.
Strong import demand from China due to the restructuring of its domestic pigmeat sector explains the 44% increase in EU total pigmeat exports over the January-July 2016 period. EU pigmeat exports to China reached more than 100 000 tonnes in April, May and June and represented now more than 40% of total EU pigmeat exports or almost 600 000 tonnes in the first half of 2016. If Hong Kong is included in the exports, another 30 000 tonnes should be added. In the first half of 2016 China imported already as much pig meat from the world as in the whole year 2015 (i.e. 780 000 tonnes). All EU countries exporting to China saw their exports doubling or tripling since the beginning of 2015. Germany, Spain and Denmarktook the biggest share of the cake with respectively 31%, 19% and 17% of EU meat exports to China. Poland cannot take advantage of this opportunity as direct exports to China are banned due to several cases of African Swine Fever (ASF). However, the euro/yuan exchange rate, the EU pigmeat production capacity and the consequences of the economic slowdown on Chinese consumer demand and its meat sector could influence downwards EU exports in the coming months.
According to the Chinese Agricultural Outlook, a significant yearly import demand for pigmeat is projected to continue over the medium-term but at a lower level (close to 900 000 tonnes by 2025). Having this in mind, the current level of EU exports to China should be considered as a short term opportunity rather than a medium term fact. Other important exporters to China are the US and Canada, representing 14% and 11% of total Chinese pigmeat imports in the period January–July 2016. Other notable increases in the first half of 2016 were noted in EU shipments to Japan (+16%), Taiwan (+15%), Ukraine (9%) and the US (+40%). The dispute about the tariffs on certain pigmeat exports to the Philippines has been settled and reflected in an increase of 33% in the first half of 2016 (+17 000 tonnes). The recovery of the US market share on the international scene after the 2014 PEDv12 crisis seems to come along slowly as US pig exports reached the same level as last year in the first half of 2016. This probably explains why the EU exports to Japan were better than expected. In addition, exports to South Korea were dropping slightly, while those to Australia were stabilising.
In this outlook, the Russian sanitary import ban introduced in March 2014 is expected to be maintained. The official WTO ruling on the sanitary ban has been made public on 19 August 2016. The Russian government has launched a notice of appeal on the 23 September. The WTO decision on the appeal is to be expected within three months. In the meantime, the assumption that the import ban will remain in place for 2016 and 2017 is retained, blocking almost all exports to Russia.
October 2016/ Directorate - General for Agriculture and Rural Development – Short Term Outlook – N° 16/ European Union.