Pork demand on the rise in Asia

Moves by Bpex to open the Chinese market to British pig meat are to take on a new importance, according to latest forecasts.

The International Meat Market Review, produced by the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board’s Red Meat Market Intelligence, predicts stronger demand for pig meat from Asia during the second half of 2010, particularly from China and Hong Kong and the lifting of H1N1 trade bans in China will help this further.

From an EU perspective, higher import requirements from Russia will benefit production and that, in turn, may lead to knock-on benefits for the UK, the report said.

Stable consumer demand in the current economic climate, improved export opportunities as the euro weakens and lower feed costs have improved profitability and confidence in the EU pig sector.

As a result, production is also forecast to increase in Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK in 2010, while production in other major pig-producing states is forecast to remain stable.

Senior analyst James Park said: “Overall production of pig meat within the EU fell by 2% in 2009 compared with 2008.

“Major restructuring of the pig herd, particularly in new member states with a move away from small-scale farming, was the primary reason for this decline.

“However, it is forecast that this decline may have bottomed-out and the introduction of more efficient farming practices, in particular in Poland, will lead to an increase in production or a reduced decline in new member states in 2010.”

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