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Global pork trade continues slow expansion

Imports are expected to rise 1 percent to a record 6.8 million tons with greater demand from countries where growth in domestic production cannot keep pace with rising demand.

Monday 5 November 2012 (5 years 3 months 17 days ago)

Imports

According to the latest "Livestock and Poultry: World Market and Trade" from USDA, imports are expected to rise 1 percent to a record 6.8 million tons with greater demand from countries where growth in domestic production cannot keep pace with rising demand.

China’s imports jump 5 percent to a record 815,000 tons, continuing on a new, higher plain. Whereas disease outbreaks caused the surges in 2008 and 2011, the reason for larger volumes forecast in 2013 is slow domestic production growth not keeping pace with rising demand. Import growth is further supported by more competitive prices vis-à-vis domestic pork and constant reports of domestic food safety cases. It is worth noting that although China is the world’s 3rd largest importer, imported pork accounts for less than 2 percent of consumption.

Russia is forecast to grow by 3 percent to 1.0 million tons, mostly from Belarus, which uses its privilege as a member of the Customs Union to export duty-free products to Russia. Additionally, under Russia’s WTO accession, in-quota tariff rates drop from 15 to 0 percent, which is expected to have a positive effect on trade. Larger volumes are also expected from minor suppliers Chile and Ukraine, as they expand their footholds in the Russian market.

Mexico’s imports are forecast up 2 percent to a record 690,000 tons due largely to flat domestic production. Pork’s competitive pricing vis-à-vis beef and changing consumer preferences are expected to support demand. The majority of Mexico’s pork imports consists of hams and mechanically deboned meat for the preparation of sausages, deli hams, and other cold cuts. There is growing consumption of these products by the middle and upper income consumers.

South Korea is raised by 1 percent to 505,000 tons as stagnant domestic production is expected to encourage a small growth in imports. A new plain may be established that is lower than record 2011 imports in response to the FMD outbreak, yet significantly higher than trade before that. Imports will be more competitive with domestic pork as tariff rates for U.S. and EU will be incrementally lower in accordance with Free Trade Agreement tariff reduction schedules.

Ukraine falls 11 percent to 200,000 tons following unusually large volumes in 2012. Imports are highly regulated by the government and sensitive to consumer disposable income as well as prices of domestically produced meats.

U.S. imports are forecast 1 percent lower to 363,000 tons due principally to tight supplies as well as an
unfavorable exchange rate in the major supplier, Canada.

Japan continues to be the world’s leading pork importer with volumes forecast flat at 1.3 million tons as competition between low-priced domestic pork and imported chilled pork intensifies. Additionally, demand is tempered by slow income growth and price conscious consumers.

Exports

EU exports are forcast up 4 percent to a record 2.4 million tons due to strong demand from Russia and
China and the low value of the Euro and Danish Kroner. A growing number of member states are eligible to ship to China, which is expected to further support exports. Demand from other major markets is expected to remain static. Elimination of export restitutions for pork by the European Commission is not expected to significanlty decrease their competitiveness in third markets. Brazil is expected to expand by 7 percent to 645,000 tons mainly on strong demand from a number of importers, mainly Hong Kong, Angola, Argentina, and Singapore, as an expected weaker Real enhances competitiveness. Exporters are also focusing on expanding sales to China, a newly opened market.

U.S. exports are forecast up 1 percent to a record 2.4 million tons based on strong Mexican and Russian demand and incremental increases in shipments to major Asian markets. U.S. product will face greater competition from European and Brazilian pork in several markets, but is expected to be very competitive with Canadian pork.

Following a record year, Canada’s exports are expected to decline by 4 percent to 1.2 million tons based on limited exportable supplies and unfavorable exchange rates. Canadian pork is expected to be less competitive vis-à-vis imports from competitors in Japan and Russia, and domestic production in
the United States.
Although a net importer, China’s shipments are forecast down 7 percent to 200,000 tons due to weak
demand from Asian markets. China exports fresh and processed products to Hong Kong, and
processed products to Japan and other Asian markets.
Chile’s exports are expected to rise 3 percent to 175,000 metric tons mostly on greater shipments to
South American markets and Russia.

October 2012/ FAS-USDA/ United states. http://www.fas.usda.gov/

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