There was approximately a 1.9-percent increase in the world pork production in 2012, reaching 110.8 million tons, according to a report by the Union of Producers and Employers of Meat Industry

Roughly 7.4 million tons of pork has been introduced onto the global market, 3 percent more than in 2011. This increase was caused by the improvement achieved in disease control among animals in Asia and increased slaughter in many developed countries, according to the report. The reduction of the pig population in the U.S. is expected to result in increased levels of pig slaughter and growing pork production globally. A drop in production is to be expected in EU member states, which are introducing regulatory changes to accommodate new environmental and animal welfare requirements in 2013. 

About 90 percent of the 2012 increase in pork production is likely to occur mostly in developing countries, particularly in Asia: South Korea, Japan and Vietnam. China's 2.5 percent increase is owed to government support. A stagnant consumption trend in countries traditionally exporting pork, such as Canada, the U.S. and EU member states, will result in a growing meat supply, which, given the strong demand throughout the world, will contribute to increased trade in this type of meat, said the report. Most of pork imported in 2012 was in China, Russia, Ukraine and Mexico. There was a decrease of import to Argentina, Korea and the Philippines. The U.S. noted a record amount of 2.4 million tons of pork exported in 2012 (3 percent more than in 2011). Competitive prices in EU countries also favored an increase in export (2.3 million tons). Increased export also appeared in developing countries: Brazil, Chile and Mexico.

Advertisement

Eurostat's forecast predicts a 0.4 percent decrease in the overall gross pig production figure for 2012 in EU-27, compared to 2011. The predicted 2012 figure is 252,698 pigs. EU pork exported in 2012 amounts to approximately 2.196 million tons of pork, which is 1 percent more than in 2011. Maintaining an increase in the pork trade dynamics has been possible due to the increased global demand for this type of meat, mainly in Russia, China and Japan. 

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, pig production is likely to remain relatively unchanged (268 million pigs), but higher prices of feeds will result in lower weight of slaughter animals. The European Commission's forecast says that factors such as new regulations in the area of animal welfare for pigs in the EU are likely to adversely affect production; however, experts emphasize that animal welfare translates into good quality and taste of the meat obtained.