Weekly Product Updates

W14 Pork Update: Global Pork Consumption to Increase by 2030, US Pig Population Increases, and Brazil’s 2024 Export Market Remains Optimistic

Frozen Pork Ham & Shoulder
Published Apr 12, 2024
In W14 in the pork landscape, the USDA indicates that global pork consumption could rise by 7.2% in 2030. Meanwhile, the US witnessed a 0.6% increase in its pig population as of Mar-24, with significant rises observed in various weight categories. Despite expectations of decreased births in the coming months, US sow productivity remains notably higher in 2024 than in 2023, potentially offsetting declining sow numbers. In Brazil, pork exports experienced a drop in Mar-24, but the overall outlook for the year remains optimistic, driven by market diversification efforts. Despite challenges, increased sales to high-value-added markets signal positive export expansion prospects for Brazil, particularly in the Philippines, following recent accreditation by the country's authorities.

Global Pork Consumption to Increase by 7.2% by 2030

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) forecasts that global meat consumption will surge to 358.4 million metric tons (mmt) by 2030, a 9.6% increase from the 327 mmt recorded in 2023. Specifically, global pork consumption is projected to reach 131 mmt in 2030, a 7.2% rise compared to 2023 figures. Key countries expected to experience consumption growth over the seven years include Vietnam (+28%), the United States (+11.7%), China (+5.8%), Russia (+4.5%), Brazil (+10.6%), Mexico (+13.5%), and Argentina (27.6%). However, pork consumption within the European Union (EU) is projected to decline to 17.7 mmt by 2030, a 3.9% drop from the 18.4 mmt recorded in 2023.

US Sees a 0.6% Increase in Pig Population as of March 2024

According to the USDA, the pig population in the US stood at 74.75 million heads as of March 1, 2024, a 0.6% increase compared to the same period in 2023. The most significant rise was observed in piglets weighing up to 23 kilograms (kg), totaling 20.75 million heads, and young pigs weighing up to 54 kg, amounting to 19.33 million heads, each experiencing a 1.5% increase over the period. Fattening pigs weighing up to 81 kg totaled 15.80 million heads, a 0.3% increase from 2023. However, fattening pigs weighing over 81 kg saw a 0.6% decrease to 12.67 million heads.

The USDA anticipates a decrease in births in the coming months, with projections indicating a 0.9% drop between Mar-24 and May-24 and a 1.7% decline between Jun-24 and Aug-24 compared to the same periods in 2023. Nevertheless, the USDA notes that sows are considerably more productive than in the corresponding period in 2023, with piglets reared in a litter from Dec-23 to Feb-23 totaling 11.53 million heads, a 4.6% year-on-year (YoY) increase. Consequently, if this elevated productivity continues, US piglet numbers in the coming months could surpass those of a year ago despite declining sow numbers.

Brazil’s Pork Shipments Drop in Mar-24, but the Overall 2024 Outlook Remains Optimistic

The Brazilian Animal Protein Association (ABPA) reports that pork exports from Brazil amounted to 289.4 thousand mt, valued at USD 597.7 million in Q1-2024, a 5.3% increase in volume but a 7.5% drop in value compared to Q1-2023. Mar-24 shipments reached 91.9 thousand mt worth USD 192.8 million, indicating a 14% YoY drop in shipments and a 22.5% YoY decline in value. Despite the volume decline in Mar-24, the overall outlook for the year remains optimistic, driven by the consolidation of newly opened or expanded markets for Brazil. China remained the primary destination for Brazil's pork shipments with 19.3 thousand mt (-46.8% YoY) in Mar-24, followed by the Philippines with 14.6 thousand mt (+54.8% YoY), and Hong Kong with 7.4 thousand mt (-44% YoY).

Notably, there has been significant growth in pork sales to high-value-added markets such as Japan, the US, Canada, and the Philippines, with comparative increases exceeding 100%. This signifies a crucial diversification of export destinations as China reduces its purchases from other suppliers. ABPA anticipates further export expansion to the Philippines, the current second-largest importer, following the recent accreditation of the Brazilian system by the country's authorities.

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