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Bankbook: 2019 - Uncertain Year For The Global Pork Industry

- Jan 25, 2019 -

Bankbook: 2019 - Uncertain year for the global pork industry

2019 may be full of potential for the global pork market, but it will be overshadowed by complex disease and trade issues. This is key information for Rabobank's quarterly report.

RaboResearch's report is called "Pork Quarterly, First Quarter of 2019: Another Uncertain Year - More Complex Diseases and Trade Issues."

Rising pig disease will increase stress

The report points out that rising disease pressure is challenging the global market. In a press release issued by the bank, senior analyst animal protein Chen Junjun said, “African swine fever (ASF) is the biggest challenge for global pork in 2019. ASF changes will create opportunities for some people and threats to others.

China need to increase imports, and it will stimulate continued growth in major exporting countries, but the amount of pork imported from China remains uncertain.

Disease stress affects global animal protein in two ways. Severe disease outbreaks can result in local production losses, especially if there is no cure, no vaccine or limited vaccine storage. This effect can last for a while - in the case of ASF in China, the infected area is prohibited from supplementing animals for at least 6 months.

The second area of influence is trade - which can be said to be more important than production losses. Outbreaks of disease limit the trade of affected countries in order to manage the risk of disease transmission.

Trade uncertainty affects pork market

The ongoing US-China trade negotiations have increased the uncertainty of international trade dynamics - will US pork be shipped to China without retaliatory tariffs in 2019? - The same is true for the new comprehensive and progressive agreement for the Brexit and Trans-Pacific Partnership. According to the press release, the Dutch cooperative bank's five-country hog price index fell below the 2015-2017 average, reflecting market sentiment.

 002_789_IMG_CopyofPPR_21_Rabobank

Illustration: Shutterstock

Other highlights of the report include:

China: ASF rapid spread

In 2019, the ASF outbreak on large modern farms surprised the market. ASF is reshaping the industry. Production expansion and replenishment are expected to slow significantly due to significant concerns about biosecurity measures. Although the first quarter believes that pork supply is sufficient, there will be a large supply problem later this year, and pork imports are expected to increase significantly due to local supply shortages.

EU: Relatively stable despite ASF threats

The signal of the EU pork market entering 2019 is mixed. Although the increase in China's imports is expected to stimulate production expansion, Belgium and Eastern Europe are still affected by the ASF threat. The increase in piglet prices in recent months indicates that piglets are tightly supplied, but production intentions are also strong. Brexit is another wild card for EU trade and is expected to play a role in the second quarter and beyond.

US: Production continues to grow in 2019

Pork production is expected to increase by 4% in 2019, thanks to a large number of herds and a general expectation of strong demand for China. Although pork exports in certain markets declined in 2018, overall exports increased slightly due to strong exports from Japan and South Korea. Despite the uncertainty in the US-China trade negotiations, exports are expected to improve in 2019. With the support of improved export access, hog prices continue to strengthen.

Brazil: it will have better results in 2019

After 2018 bumps and challenges, Brazil's pork industry has a brighter future in 2019. China is expected to boost export growth. The recent re-certification of a limited number of factories to return to the Russian market will also help to increase exports. Due to a more positive economic landscape, local demand is likely to improve further.


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