Global pork production will see an 8 per cent drop in 2020, the latest Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations report has revealed.
According to the biannual FAO report on world food markets, this reduction is expected to witness pork production fall to 101 million tonnes, with much of the global decline attributed to African swine fever (ASF) in China, Vietnam and the Philippines.
This has seen China suffer from a 20 per cent fall in pigmeat output to 25m tonnes this year, with outbreaks causing drops in Vietnam and the Philippines.
Negative production in the US comes, however, as a result of severe supply chain disruption, which has seen mass meat plant closures due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, global pork exports in 2020 have been forecasted to increase by 11 per cent at 10.6m tonnes on the year before, which experts have attributed to an expected increase in Chinese imports as well as a moderate surge in demand in Vietnam, the Philippines, Chile and the Ukraine.
Global Chinese pork imports are also set to rise according to the FAO, which has forecasted an increase by 1.2m tonnes (42 per cent) in 2020, reaching 4.1m tonnes and accounting for 40 per cent of the global volume trade.
The EU and UK will see an increase in pork supply results due to a decrease in domestic consumption and a rise in production, which could lead to more exports, especially to China, following newly signed agreements between China and major EU suppliers.
Pork exports from Brazil are expected to increase due to a higher demand from China, while sales to other countries are likely to fall.
Lockdown measures have been tightened in two districts of Germany’s most populous state, after one of Europe’s largest slaughterhouses saw more than 1,500 workers contract Covid-19.
Due to a major outbreak at the Toennie meat processing plant in the North Rhine-Westphalia state, Guetersloh county’s 360,000 residents have been instructed to only have contact with their own household or one person from outside.
Similar restrictions have also been imposed in neighbouring Warendorf county, where many of the plant’s employees live.
The outbreak has raised a debate about standards in Germany’s food industry and its reliance on migrant labour, particularly from Romania, which has seen Germany’s Agriculture Minister Julia Kloeckner push for an animal welfare levy to clean up the meat trade.
It follows a series of outbreaks in UK plants, which has prompted a number of sites to temporarily suspend production.
The British Meat Processing Association urged processing plants to remain ’extra vigilant’ and to ensure guidance is applied ‘rigorously’ as the lockdown eases in England.