After two years of declines, EU pig meat production will begin to increase again, the EU Commission forecast. However, the commission does not expect EU pig production to return to 2011 levels until around 2020.
The recent decline has been partly driven by the new welfare regulations introduced in 2013. However, the report indicates that the new rules will force out some less competitive producers, which will boost productivity going forward. Growth is only expected to be modest because of environmental constraints in some of the main producer countries, and this trend is forecast to continue over the coming years, therefore pig production is not expected to return to 2011 levels until around 2020.
Over the projection period, EU pig meat consumption is set to recover slowly, reversing the decreasing trend seen since 2007 because of the economic crisis and the limited supply. However, even by the end of the period in 2023, per capita consumption of pig meat is forecast to remain below its level in 2011 at 31.8 kilograms per head, according to a BPEX report. EU pork exports are forecast to be steady over through 2015, but then to grow slowly over the rest of the decade. Growth will be constrained by competition from the U.S. and Brazil, where production is expected to increase significantly.