UK Pig Meat Production and Trade Overview (Jan-Apr 2024)

Production and Domestic Market:

  • The UK produced 306,400 tonnes of pig meat from January to April 2024, a 0.6% increase from last year due to higher average carcase weights despite lower slaughter rates.
  • Domestic pig meat consumption has weakened, with global demand subdued due to high inflation and geopolitical uncertainties.


  • UK pig meat imports rose by 3% to 251,500 tonnes, primarily sourced from the EU27.
  • Fresh/frozen pork imports from the EU27 increased by 4%, with Denmark and Germany as key suppliers.
  • Sausage imports grew by 7%, driven by shipments from Germany and Poland.
  • Processed pig meat imports declined, while Poland and Ireland maintained significant shares.
  • Bacon imports continued to decline, with major supplies from the Netherlands and Denmark.


  • UK pig meat exports decreased by 3% to nearly 100,500 tonnes, with fresh/frozen pork and bacon shipments falling.
  • The EU27, China, Philippines, and USA remained top destinations, with South Africa rising in the rankings.
  • Offal exports increased, particularly to China and the Philippines, with China holding a 53% market share.
  • Fresh/frozen pork exports fell by 7% to 41,600 tonnes, mainly shipped to the EU27 and China.
  • Smaller export volumes for processed pig meat, bacon, and sausage, with Ireland and Spain being key markets.

New Zealand’s Red Meat Industry Faces Continued Challenges

Market Conditions and Outlook:

  • Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) reports no significant short-term improvement in Chinese demand for red meat.
  • Sheepmeat prices are at multi-year lows due to competition from Australian exports and abundant domestic pork in China, alongside a weak Chinese economy.
  • China is New Zealand’s largest market for sheepmeat, deeply influencing domestic lamb and mutton prices.

Economic Factors:

  • Chinese sheepmeat prices are lower than during the 2016-17 season.
  • China’s economic recovery is uncertain due to property sector issues and low consumer sentiment.
  • Official economic indicators from China have decreased, making predictions difficult.
  • Medium-term projections suggest a potential recovery in China’s economy and increased disposable incomes.

Industry Perspectives:

  • Sam McIvor, B+LNZ CEO, acknowledges tough times for farmers, predicting no short-term relief, especially for sheepmeat farmers.
  • Market recovery is seen as a matter of “when” rather than “if.”

Geopolitical Influences:

  • Trade tensions, such as US tariffs on Chinese imports and EU-China trade relations, add to market unpredictability.

Long-term Opportunities:

  • Despite challenges, China remains a vital market for New Zealand red meat, with nearly half of lamb exports going to China in 2022-23.
  • The report underscores opportunities and the importance of safe, nutritious products from New Zealand.

South Korea Opens Beef Imports from France and Ireland, Slowly Removing Trade Restrictions

Recent Developments:

  • South Korea has officially opened market access for beef from France and Ireland, ending an import ban in place since 2001 due to BSE (mad cow disease).
  • This move comes after South Korea began lifting the beef ban in September 2019, starting with producers from the Netherlands and Denmark.
  • The import ban was a source of tension during negotiations for the EU-South Korea free trade agreement, which was eventually ratified in 2015.

Current Status:

  • South Korea has now normalized beef trade with Ireland and France, but restrictions remain in place for eight other large beef-exporting countries, including Italy and Poland.
  • European producers are hopeful that the remaining restrictions will be lifted soon, allowing all EU member states to export beef to South Korea.

Future Outlook:

  • The EU expects that the trust in beef from the EU will lead to market access for beef from the remaining EU member states that have pending applications.
  • While there is no clear timeline, there is confidence that all countries will benefit from accessing the Korean market in the near future.

Broader Impact:

  • Last year, the EU lifted a ban on imports of ginseng chicken soup from South Korea, which had been in place since 1996.
  • Trade in food between the EU and South Korea has increased since the FTA entered into force, from a 5.4% share of the EU’s total food exports to 7.6% in just ten years.

Brazil: Poultry Genetics Exports Grow 10.9% in May

Export Performance:

  • Brazilian poultry genetics exports, including 1-day-old chicks and fertile eggs, reached 2,650 thousand tons in May, up 10.9% from last year’s 2,389 thousand tons.
  • Revenue from these exports fell 10.6% to US$18.934 million, down from US$21.185 million in the same period in 2023.

Year-to-Date Figures:

  • From January to May, poultry genetics exports totaled 12,855 thousand tons, a 2.2% increase from 12,577 thousand tons last year.
  • Revenue for the period was US$98.587 million, 12.8% lower than the US$113.053 million recorded last year.

Key Markets:

  • Mexico, the main destination, imported 4,750 thousand tons, a 40.6% decrease from the previous year.
  • South Africa, a new market, imported 2,955 thousand tons, becoming the second main destination.
  • Senegal imported 2,157 thousand tons, a 54.9% increase from last year.

Market Analysis:

  • The shift in export destinations towards African nations is attributed to Brazil’s robust health status amid global Avian Influenza impacts.
  • Ricardo Santin, president of ABPA, highlights the importance of health status in sustaining high-value-added segment sales.

China Continues to Buy Large Volumes of Beef at Low Prices

Import Trends:

  • In the first four months of the year, China imported one million tons of beef, a 22% increase from last year.
  • The average price for boneless frozen meat in April was US$4,950, down 35% from the US$7,600 peak two years ago.

Market Dynamics:

  • At the recent Sial fair in Shanghai, importers cited weak meat consumption, ongoing bovine herd liquidation, yuan devaluation, post-Covid consumer confidence issues, pork overproduction, and large warehouse stocks as reasons for lower prices.
  • China has enabled new supplier countries and authorized new supplier plants in Brazil, increasing competition and supply.

Economic Context:

  • Livestock and beef prices have fallen 12-15% in recent months.
  • Pork production reached a record 56 million tons this year, adding to the meat supply.

Future Outlook:

  • Despite high meat stocks, more recent production dates for imported meat indicate that accumulated stocks are being sold off.
  • There is improvement in the retail and food service markets, with potential increases in volumes and prices expected.

Avian Influenza Update: South Africa Calls for Vaccination as Virus Returns to Gabon

South Africa’s Situation:

  • South Africa has seen a considerable easing of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) situation in poultry flocks in recent weeks.
  • However, concerns remain about potential future outbreaks as the country enters the winter months.
  • During the last disease season, 10 million poultry were lost to the disease, impacting many small farmers.

Vaccination Challenges in South Africa:

  • South Africa’s poultry producers are vulnerable to future outbreaks due to a gap in vaccine development, particularly against H7 variants.
  • While vaccines exist for the H5 virus “family,” there is no vaccine for H7 variants.
  • The national government has set stringent biosecurity standards for producers to meet before commencing a vaccination program, which are challenging for smaller producers.
  • Difficulty in obtaining compensation for culled poultry makes owners reluctant to report ill-health in their birds.

HPAI Returns to Gabon:

  • Surveillance samples collected at a market in Libreville, Gabon, have revealed the presence of the H5N1 HPAI virus serotype.
  • The source of the virus is unknown, and tracing the farm of origin was not possible.
  • This represents the return of the virus to Gabon after a hiatus of more than two years, with the last HPAI outbreak in April 2022.

ABPA & ApexBrasil Promote Seminar to Support Dominican Food Security

Event Overview:

  • The Brazilian Animal Protein Association (ABPA), in partnership with ApexBrasil and the Dominican Embassy in Brazil, concluded a successful seminar on food security in Santo Domingo.
  • The seminar, named the Dominico Brasileiro Agricultural Meeting, featured local press coverage and attendance by Dominican and Brazilian authorities, including the Dominican Minister of Agriculture, Limber Cruz Lopez, and Brazilian Deputy Secretary of Commerce and International Relations, Julio Ramos.

Attendance and Goals:

  • Over 80 importers and local stakeholders attended alongside Brazilian representatives to strengthen ties between Brazil and the Dominican Republic, focusing on food security.
  • The event was organized by ABPA’s marketing and commercial promotion team, with key presentations by ABPA’s markets director, Luís Rua.

Key Highlights:

  • Luís Rua emphasized Brazil’s sustainable production practices, high sanitary standards, and the diverse range of high-quality poultry and pork products exported to over 150 countries.
  • The seminar reinforced Brazil’s commitment to supporting the Dominican Republic’s food security through strong bilateral cooperation.


  • Luís Rua highlighted the successful interaction with Dominican leaders and society, reiterating Brazil’s partnership in ensuring Dominican food security and its role as a global leader in protein production.

CHILECARNE: Advancing Economic Relations with Indonesia

Event Overview:

  • A Chilean delegation, led by the Undersecretary of International Economic Relations, Claudia Sanhueza, successfully concluded its visit to Jakarta as part of a public-private mission to Indonesia and Vietnam.
  • Among the participants was the President of ChileCarne, Juan Carlos Domínguez, aiming to open the Indonesian market for Chilean pork and poultry exports.

Meetings and Participants:

  • The mission included meetings with the Deputy Minister of Commerce of Indonesia, Dr. Jerry Sambuaga, the Indonesian Quarantine Authority (IQA), and the Deputy Secretary General of ASEAN, Satvinder Singh.
  • A day was organized with heads of the ASEAN and Pacific Alliance missions and an information session at the Chilean residence in Jakarta, attended by businesspeople interested in links with Chilean counterparts.
  • The leadership of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN), headed by Shinta W. Kamdani, highlighted the mission’s relevance.

Key Discussions:

  • The Chilean Ambassador to Indonesia, Mario Ignacio Artaza, emphasized the commitment to strengthen economic and commercial ties, advancing the negotiation of an investment chapter within the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and exploring Chile’s potential membership in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
  • Juan Carlos Domínguez highlighted the delegation’s meetings with Indonesian and ASEAN authorities to expand Chile’s export offer in the region and foster new business opportunities.

Economic Context:

  • Indonesia, the fourth most populous country, ranks 34th among Chile’s trading partners, with a trade exchange reaching $490 million.
  • The mission underscored the need to explore and develop markets in food, mining services, and renewable energy, emphasizing the importance of authorizing meat and dairy exports to leverage the market’s potential.


  • Juan Carlos Domínguez expressed optimism about the mission’s outcomes and the potential to strengthen mutual knowledge and business possibilities between Chile and Indonesia.
  • The mission marked a significant step toward bolstering trade and economic relations, promoting new business opportunities across various sectors in both nations.

Underlying Trends Point to Greater Stability in Beef Market

Market Overview:

  • The beef market is anticipated to achieve greater stability in 2025, following the easing of short-term economic and supply impacts.
  • Analysis by Hybu Cig Cymru-Meat Promotion Wales’ (HCC) suggests that the longer-term outlook for beef prices could improve despite current small, week-on-week declines.

Current Price Trends:

  • Prime cattle prices have been experiencing marginally lower adjustments due to increased domestic supply, higher imports of Irish cattle, and sluggish retail demand.
  • Farmgate prices have risen significantly since 2020, but the benefits have been offset by rising key input costs due to high inflation.

Price Movements:

  • Deadweight prices for steers started the year near £4.90/kg, peaked at £4.95 in early March, but have since declined to around £4.77/kg. Heifers and young bulls have also seen declines, with heifers at £4.74/kg (-7p yoy) and young bulls at £4.68/kg (-9p yoy).
  • The cull cow market has seen positive price movements, standing at around £3.59/kg, 45p higher than the average in early January.

Supply Insights:

  • Prime beef cattle and dairy males aged 12-30 months are projected to see a slight increase in numbers, with potential supply up 2% year-on-year at around 1.8 million head as of April 1, 2024.
  • However, breeding herd trends over the past decade show a decline due to economic, policy, technological, and environmental pressures.

Future Outlook:

  • Domestic supplies are expected to be impacted by the reduction in youngstock numbers, with the potential supply of prime beef cattle and dairy males aged 0-12 months down 3% year-on-year at 1.9 million head.
  • This trend, coupled with fewer calf birth registrations, suggests tighter supply further down the line, contributing to greater market stability by the end of 2024 and into 2025.


  • Glesni Phillips, HCC’s Intelligence, Analysis & Business Insight Executive, noted that these factors are expected to result in a more stable beef market as they take effect towards the end of 2024.

Extreme Weather Threatens Crop Output in Black Sea and US Midwest

Impact on Crop Yields:

  • Forecast dryness in the Black Sea region, including Russia and Ukraine, threatens sunflower and corn yields.
  • Heavy rain in the US Midwest after near-record temperatures also threatens crops, squeezing world supplies and pushing prices higher.

Weather Conditions:

  • Dryness and below-normal rains are expected for July and August in the Black Sea region, potentially crimping corn and sunflower crops.
  • Record temperatures in major global growing regions have delayed planting and hurt developing crops.
  • Hot weather in southern Russia and parts of Ukraine is expected to impact crops due to lack of soil moisture.
  • Excessive rains in the US Midwest and forecasts for more wet weather have raised fears of floods, impacting corn and soybean crops.

Global Implications:

  • Global wheat prices jumped to a 10-month high in May due to adverse weather conditions in Russia.
  • In Asia, ample rains are expected to alleviate severe dryness in parts of China, while India’s monsoon is likely to recover, boosting agriculture.

Other Regions:

  • Weather in Australia is expected to be normal, with some areas receiving higher than average rains, boosting the wheat crop outlook.
  • Mainly normal weather is forecast in coming months in Argentina and Brazil.

Impact on Markets:

  • The weather forecast has led to concerns about crop damage, which could affect global food supplies and prices.

US Pork Market

In April, US pork exports to Southeast Asia, particularly to the Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam, increased by 15% compared to the previous year, reaching 7,669 metric tons and valued at $16.3 million (up 7%). From January to April, exports to the region grew by 9% to 22,480 metric tons, although the value fell by 5% to just under $50 million.

Most US pork entering the Philippines is subject to a 25% duty, lower than the normal out-of-quota rate of 40%. This reduced rate is set to expire at the end of 2024, but there is a proposal to extend it through 2028, currently being considered by Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.


New Poll Shows Strong Voter Support for Sustainable Open Ocean Aquaculture in the U.S.

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has released a new poll showing that 76% of U.S. voters support expanding open ocean aquaculture in a sustainable, environmentally responsible way. The poll also found that 82% of voters believe research can help ensure the safety of the seafood consumed, and there is deep concern over the economy and the cost of living, which respondents believe could be alleviated by aquaculture.

EDF Vice President of Climate Resilient Fisheries and Oceans, Kate Bonzon, emphasized the importance of following science and investing in research to ensure that open ocean aquaculture is done right from the start. The poll, conducted by Global Strategy Group with 800 registered voters, indicates strong support for aquaculture sustainability standards and the role of research in achieving these standards.

The poll results are seen as supporting the aims of the Science-based Equitable Aquaculture Food (SEAfood) Act, a proposed legislation endorsed by EDF. The SEAfood Act would establish an offshore aquaculture assessment program, require government reports on offshore aquaculture regulation, and create a grant program supporting minority-serving educational institutions in building aquaculture centers of excellence.

However, the SEAfood Act has faced opposition from groups like Don’t Cage Our Oceans, who argue that offshore finfish aquaculture poses risks to the environment and local businesses. They claim that the SEAfood Act would encourage big corporations to construct risky trial facilities without proper oversight, potentially leading to environmental disasters.

Chilean seafood exports experienced a sharp decline in May, totaling $648 million, which is a 17.4% decrease compared to the previous year. The decline was led by decreases in exports of fish oil, algae, and salmonids.


Understanding and Addressing the Impact of Zoonotic Diseases on Agriculture: Key Takeaways for Farmers

The recent outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) among dairy cows serves as a reminder of the risks of zoonotic diseases and their impact on agriculture. Here are some key takeaways for farmers:

  1. Zoonotic Disease Transmission: Zoonotic diseases are infectious diseases that can spread from animals to humans. Transmission can occur through direct or indirect contact, vector-borne routes, foodborne or waterborne routes, and through infectious agents like bacteria, viruses, or parasites.
  2. History and Increase of Zoonotic Diseases: Zoonotic diseases have been present for centuries, but their prevalence has increased over time. Factors contributing to this increase include urbanization, deforestation, tourism, wildlife trade, and climate change, all of which impact the interactions between humans and animals.
  3. Impact on Agriculture: Zoonotic diseases can have a significant impact on agriculture, affecting animal health, productivity, and farm economics. The recent HPAI outbreak in dairy cows led to a reduction in milk production and financial losses for affected farmers.
  4. Prevention and Mitigation Strategies: Farmers can take steps to reduce the risk of zoonotic disease transmission on their farms. These include practicing good hygiene, using personal protective equipment, disinfecting workspaces, and being aware of zoonotic diseases in animals and humans.
  5. Education and Communication: Educating farm workers about zoonotic diseases and effective communication within the farm team are crucial for preventing disease spread. Understanding disease transmission processes and implementing appropriate measures can help reduce the risk of infection.
  6. Continued Vigilance: Zoonotic diseases will continue to be a challenge in agriculture. Farmers should remain vigilant, stay informed about disease outbreaks, and implement best practices to protect themselves, their animals, and their livelihoods.

Overall, the recent bird flu outbreak in dairy cows highlights the importance of proactive measures to prevent and mitigate the impact of zoonotic diseases on agriculture.

The U.S. Dairy Economy in 2024: Promising Trends Amidst Challenges

The U.S. dairy economy is experiencing promising trends in 2024, driven by record exports and increased domestic demand, particularly in cheese. However, several factors, including market unpredictability and production challenges, could impact the sector’s outlook for the remainder of the year.

Key points:

  1. Export Growth: Cheese exports have surged in 2024, helping to alleviate a saturated domestic market. Mexico has been a significant buyer, purchasing a large portion of U.S. cheese exports.
  2. Market Uncertainty: While exports to Mexico have been strong, exports to China have declined unexpectedly. This shift could be attributed to China potentially looking to export its own dairy products, leading to increased competition in export markets.
  3. Domestic Demand: Despite economic challenges faced by consumers, domestic demand for dairy products, including cheese, has increased. This has been supported by promotions from major brands.
  4. Production Challenges: Dairy production is steady but slightly lower than in previous years. Bovine influenza A, affecting cows, has led to temporary production declines in infected herds, adding to the overall tightness in the market.
  5. Market Projections: For the rest of 2024, projections suggest that class III futures could range between $18 and $20 per hundredweight, with class IV between $20 and $22. However, market volatility remains a significant factor that could impact these projections.

Overall, while the U.S. dairy economy is currently on a positive trajectory, market uncertainties and production challenges underscore the need for continued vigilance and adaptability within the sector.

Read the previous market report: Weekly Animal Protein Market Report

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