World pork market set firm for rest of year

International pork prices are set to remain firm for the remainder of year, supported by demand over the Chinese festival season.

Values were extremely firm during the third quarter of the year, with most major producing regions including Brazil, China, Canada and the EU up by more than 10% on the previous quarter and the US up 5%, according to a report by analyst Rabobank.

“The main drivers were tighter-than-expected supply in the US, due in part to the impact of the porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDV), and the EU, due to the impact of the EU’s introduction of group housing of sows – and continuing robust import demand.”

Limited growth in sow numbers showed farmers were cautious about expanding production in almost all regions, it added. “Despite the positive prospects with regard to feed prices, farmers first want to regain the lost margins of the past few years before expanding production.”

Declining feed costs would support slow herd rebuilding, boosting pork supplies and potentially lowering market prices next year, said the report. “However, the price slide will be slow due to the limited growth of sow numbers, the continuing demand growth in Asia and still relatively high feed costs.”

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