Weekly Product Updates

W52 Pork Update: Brazil's Pork Industry Thrives in 2023, While UK Faces 11.2% YoY Dip in Finishing Pig Population

Frozen Pork Ham & Shoulder
Published Jan 5, 2024
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Brazil's Pork Industry Thrives in 2023, Poised for Sustained Growth in 2024

Brazil's pork industry concludes 2023 on a positive note, and the Brazilian Meat Association (ABPA) projects continued growth into 2024. Expectations for pork production in 2023 anticipate a 2.3% YoY growth, reaching 5.1 million metric tons (mmt), with exports expected to rise by up to 8.9% YoY, reaching 1.22 mmt. Looking ahead to 2024, a 1% YoY increase is forecasted, totaling 5.15 mmt in production, while exports are estimated to rise by up to 6.6% YoY, reaching 1.3mmt.

The domestic market is poised for stability, with a projected supply of around 3.8 mmt and per capita consumption is being consolidated at approximately 18 kilograms (kg) per inhabitant. The export landscape shows promise, benefiting from the exploration of new markets and reduced exports from key competitors like the European Union (EU) and Canada. Simultaneously, domestic per capita consumption is on the rise, signaling positive trends compared to previous years.

In 2023, the Brazilian pig farming sector is on a positive trajectory, witnessing a recovery driven by reduced production costs and a surge in pork exports. Lower costs and robust export performance empower producers, while regional price appreciation for live pigs, particularly in the south, reflects increased demand. This turnaround follows years of challenges, with high costs impacting margins and prompting adjustments in production and market dynamics.

UK’s 11.2% YoY Decline in Finishing Pig Population

In 2023, the finishing pig population in the United Kingdom (UK) pork industry marked a significant downturn, hitting its lowest point since 2015, with 4.26 million head, reflecting an 11.2% YoY decline. This mirrors a broader trend of historically low hog slaughter rates throughout the year, with net pork slaughter down by 9.1% YoY in the Jan-23 to Nov-23 interval. In contrast, the total number of breeding pigs remained relatively stable, experiencing only a marginal 0.2% YoY decrease, totaling 428 thousand heads.

Noteworthy shifts within this category include a 3.6% YoY reduction in breeding sows, a substantial 13% YoY increase in gilts, a 5.4% YoY decrease in breeding boars, and a 6.5% YoY rise in gilts intended for first breeding. The uptick in the number of gilts suggests a cautiously optimistic sentiment in the industry, potentially linked to improved farm profitability. While some manufacturers exercise caution in their growth strategies, a full industry recovery is not anticipated in the immediate future.

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