The global pork industry had a generally good 2013 with the Rabobank five-nation finished hog price index averaging 151, an increase of 10% on 2012 and the highest level in the last five years. According to the Rabobank Pork Quarterly Q1 report, the price outlook for the global pork market for the remainder of Q1 and into Q2 2014 is steady. In combination with lower feed costs this will be positive for farmers’ margins, despite the unknown impact of porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDv) in the US, Canadian and Mexican markets.
Elsewhere, pork imports in Japan dropped 10.9% January-November mainly due to the depreciation of the Yen while the Korean pork market has returned to the situation before the devastating swine fever outbreak, which started in April 2009. Lower imports combined with stabilising domestic production in 2H13 has supported price recovery in Korea which will likely continue in 2014 due to the 5.8% YOY drop in the sow inventory in Q3 2013.
In the EU, Rabobank expects a positive H1 in 2014. Lower feed costs and continued elevated price levels will support the recovery of farmers’ margins after the lows experienced in H1 2013. This is due to a slightly increased EU pork production supported by continually strong productivity growth, and stable to slightly higher consumption and exports. The latter might perform even better than expected if the impact of PEDv in the US is larger than currently estimated.
Thursday January 30, 2014/ Rabobank.