Eva Gocsik, Rabobank: 'World pork production is set to decline. In Europe in 2023 it could reach -4%'.
In anticipation of Suinicoltura Congress 2023 in Cremona (27 February), an interview with Eva Gocsik, an economic analyst specialising in the animal protein sector from Rabobank, the leading Dutch financial institute that has always been involved in global financial analysis for the agri-food sector
07, Feb 2023
The list of authoritative speakers who will enliven the conference organized by EV Edizioni Veterinarie srl scheduled in Cremona on 27 February entitled "Health, technology, sustainability, economy, the drivers of modern pig farming", (www.suinicolturacongress.it) also includes Eva Gocsik, economic analyst specializing in the animal protein sector of Rabobank, the important Dutch financial institution which has always dealt with global financial analyzes for the agri-food sector.
Dr Gocsik, what is Rabobank's forecast for the global pig sector trend for 2023 and for Europe and Asia in particular? “Our forecast is oriented towards a global production decline, which in the EU27 and in the United Kingdom, on an annual basis, should oscillate between -3 and -4%. The increase in food costs and the pressure on the prices of piglets in closed-cycle farms, in a market characterized by an excessive supply, have led to a reduction in the number of animals raised which was especially evident in 2022. Germany, Denmark, Poland and United Kingdom are the countries where the contraction in production will be greater. In parallel, in 2023 feed prices are expected to decrease compared to last year, favoring a higher profit margin for farmers. On the export front, in the EU27 and in the UK we expect a reduction of around 5%, although in the second half of the year we should see an increase in exports to China where the supply of local pork will be limited despite in the presence of a production increase close to 1.5%”.
What are the most important factors that most influence the global stability of pork production? “Globally, production is slowing down because the supply chain faces many obstacles such as high production costs that reduce the profit margins of the entire supply chain, consumption under pressure due to the global economic crisis and measures related to fiscal and monetary measures adopted to counter the inflationary pressure. Then there is an important and worrying health aspect that should not be underestimated. I am referring to the ASF (African swine fever, ed) which in Europe continues to represent a serious threat especially in commercial terms. Finally, the pandemic, which in some parts of the world such as China continues to condition consumption levels and where in December 2022 the prices of pigs recorded a sharp drop only and recovered to a minimal extent in the following January, a situation which has resulted in increased supply in the face of exceptionally low demand due to a recent outbreak of Covid. Rabobank maintains a bearish view on short-term performance, but is optimistic about a rebound in demand once the pandemic wave has leveled off and business returns to normal.”
Will the pandemic and the Ukrainian conflict have major consequences for the global pig sector? “The impact of the war in Ukraine is having and will have an indirect impact on the global pig sector through rising energy and raw material costs, coupled with high inflationary pressures on consumer incomes. In my opinion, this is the element that has accelerated a sort of rebalancing in the European market linked to the drop in production. With regard to the pandemic, in 2023 the effects should be less marked worldwide and more limited. The easing of the restrictive measures against Covid introduced in the country of the Dragon have unfortunately favored a new pandemic wave which has in fact put pork consumption into suffering and since China's role in global trade is fundamental, this situation is having a cascading effect on major exporters”.
Will China recover the production quota lost due to ASF? “Our analyzes speak of a level of production stabilization lower than the period before the explosion of ASF in Chinese pig farms also because consumption will not fully recover. Pork remains the most consumed animal protein in China, but let's not forget that even in this large country, dietary patterns have undergone changes in recent years".
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