Rabobank: epizootic situation shapes the landscape of the global pig industry

ASF and other animal diseases will affect the global pork trade.

According to a new Rabobank report, African swine fever (ASF) and other diseases continue to form a competitive environment for global pork production and trade.

ASF affects pork production directly in Asia and indirectly in Europe through trade restrictions, the report says. The authors of the report add that other diseases, including porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (RRSS), also had a direct impact on production levels and product availability in exporting countries such as the USA, Mexico and Spain. Other types of farm animals affected by diseases, including poultry, can also affect the structure of trade and consumption of pork.

ASF and other animal diseases will affect the global pork trade

"Pressure and disease risk are likely to remain a major factor in pork production in the coming years, although the impact will depend on trade policies and restrictions, as well as how well the sector is fighting a particular disease," the report says.

It is still unknown how advances such as the ASF vaccine in Vietnam and gene editing from RRSS will affect the global industry.

"Policy makers also have a role to play in managing the impact of diseases through global and bilateral trade agreements in the event of disease outbreaks," the report says. "The introduction of a regionalization policy for ASF in countries outside Europe will be key to mitigating the impact of the disease on trade."

Changes in exchange rates, as well as shipping, labor, and pork production costs also affect global pork exporters. Brazil has benefited from these factors, Rabobank said, while the competitiveness of European manufacturers is expected to deteriorate further. Europe's problems are related to increasing standards of sustainability and animal welfare, as well as the need for investment in these areas.

"Although European pork exports to third countries are still huge, it is expected that these export flows will decrease in the coming years, as processors will probably have more chances to profit from upcoming investments in the European market," Rabobank experts note.

In the USA and Canada, producers are supported by low feed prices and access to most growing markets.

"Consolidation of pork herds in the United States and Canada and the transition to more sustainable production systems will eventually increase the cost of American and Canadian pork and reduce its competitiveness in world markets," the report says. "Pork exports from the United States and Canada will remain central to the global pork trade, especially within the North American trade bloc."

Although China has reached 95% self-sufficiency in pork production, this does not mean that trade with this country will stop, Rabobank said.

Annual pork imports in China are expected to stabilize at about 2.5–3 million tons, the report says.

SOURCE: emeat