According to the information provided by the Chinese food authorities, the country’s pig herd has recovered to 2018 figures, before the ASF devastated 40% of the stock.
The recovery of the pig stock has sent prices of pork stumbling to minimums. In addition to the stock recovery, new outbreaks of ASF in China has sent small and midium sized farmers running to liquidate their pigs trying to anticipate a potential contamination risk.
Global pig herd ranking 2021
|Ranking of Pig Herd size per country 2021, beginning stock||Pre African Swine Fever, beginning of 2018||2019||2020||2021 USDA Report July|
|Europe (27 countries)||150,257||148,167||147,887||150,987|
According to the USDA, China’s pig stock recovery is still some 5% below pre-ASF level. But also confirms a strong recovery.
China is home to the largest pig herd globally, with 406.500 heads estimated by 2021. Europe (combination of 27 countries led by Germany and Spain), USA, Brasil and Canada complete the top five.
Global Pork Production 2021
|Ranking por país de producción de carne de cerdo, miles de T||2017||2018||2019||2020||2021|
|Europa (27 countries)||23,660||24,082||23,956||24,267||24,800|
|Corea del Sur||1,280||1,329||1,364||1,403||1,375|
China also leads the global pork production in 2021, but by a smaller margin when compared to the pig herd. This is due to the lower productivity of the Chinese pig farms. Until the ASF outbreak, most of the Chinese production came from family owned and low productivity farms.
In 2021, industrial and large scale farms will be responsible for most of the Chinese pork production following the country’s attempt to keep ASF at bay using modern infrastructure and enhanced biosecurity measures.
Global pork consumption by country – 2021 ranking
|Europa (27 countries)||20,909||21,258||20,425||19,751||20,365|
|Corea del Sur||1,926||2,001||2,011||1,980||1,975|
Pork is the most popular meat in China, by far. Losing 40% of the pig heard because of ASF caused a huge whole in protein consumption as the global market as a whole was not able to compensate such a fall. By 2021, due to both increased imports and recovery in local production, Chinese pork consumption is expected to increase by 7 million tones compared to 2020, but still 7 million tones less than pre ASF level.
Global Pork Trade – Imports and Exports of Pig Meat per country 2021
|Pork Exports |
Global ranking 2021
|Europa (27 countries)||2,764||2,838||3,548||4,533||4,450|
|Corea del Sur||2||1||2||1||1|
Europe is the largest exporter of pork worldwide, followed by the USA, Canada, Brasil and Mexico in the top five. The ASF changed the dynamic of pork global trade in 2019, absorbing all pork it could by until mid 2021.
|Pork Imports |
Global ranking 2021
|Corea del Sur||645||753||694||554||600|
|Europa (27 countries)||13||14||17||17||15|
China is the largest importer of pork globally in 2021. Due to ASF, Chinese pig meat imports more than tripled from 2018. By mid 2021, Chinese pork imports almos halted, only sourcing from Brazil, that has a more competitive price than pork from other sources like the US and Europe.