China’s Incredible Shrinking Hog Herd

The astonishing drop of the Chinese hog and sow herd will impact the entire global pork market in the remainder of 2015 and into 2016. While China’s pork industry has experienced one of the largest culls in history, not everyone is set to lose… as other countries are all too happy to fill the void.

photo of Chinese pig farm

Aporkalypse now?

Over the last 18 months, China’s pork industry has experienced one of the largest culls on record—the ramifications of which are just now being felt globally. To put this change into perspective: the decline of nearly 100 million head in China’s hog herd and 10 million in its breeding herd is equivalent to the US, Canadian and Mexican pork sectors all disappearing from global supply in a span of less than two years. For 2015, Rabobank expects China’s pork production to decline by 6.5 percent, the third-largest decline in production in the last 40 years. This will be supported by a 600,000 tonne increase in imports—primarily from the EU, the US and Canada—in the second half of 2015. This surge in pork trade could not come at a better time, as the global pork sector is in the midst of a supply glut after many regions have recovered from the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus outbreak of 2014, and a number of trade bans have depressed pork prices and producer margins.

Bringing home the bacon

A 1.9 million tonne Chinese supply gap implies a 600,000 tonne increase of pork and variety meat imports above the 1.3 million tonnes imported in 2014. Best positioned to gain from this extra demand are the leading exporters to China (the EU, the US and Canada), which all have sufficient volume available and are competitive on the Chinese market. This export opportunity is very attractive to a sector that has been under pressure in recent times. Capitalising on the opportunity will require processors and traders who have the right product at a competitive price; who can deliver in the coming months; and who can readily mobilise their supply chain.

Find the full details in the Rabobank report ‘China’s Incredible Shrinking Hog Herd… and the Countries Happy to Fill the Void’.

  • Albert Vernooij

    Analyst - Animal Protein Read more
  • Chenjun Pan

    Senior Analyst - Animal Protein Read more
  • William Sawyer

    Senior Analyst - Animal Protein Read more

Contact

RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness

PO Box 17100 (UC 053) 3500 HG Utrecht, The Netherlands