Meat from Europe, a campaign dedicated to the promotion of European meat and meat products, has released the following outlook for the coming year:

“In 2020, trends which began taking shape two years ago are likely to continue, but less dynamically than in 2019[1]. Changes in the global market are continuing to be affected by the spread of African Swine Fever in China, the largest producer and consumer of pork in the world. The USDA predicts a drop in production in China of as much as 25%[2] compared to 2018[3]. The occurrence of ASF in China has impacted red meat prices worldwide, including in the EU and USA.

“The price fluctuations which have been observed on both sides of the Atlantic give the clearest picture of this phenomenon. According to data gathered by the European Commission, at the turn of 2019 and 2020, the live weight purchase price in the EU was 43.6% higher than a year earlier[4], while the Lean Hog price in the USA was 16.9% higher than in the same period last year[5].The situation is somewhat different in the case of European beef, its’ current price is 3.9%[6] lower than a year ago. This less dynamic trend can also be seen in the case of live cattle in the USA, where the price is just 0.2% lower than a year ago[7].

“Higher global pork prices tend to boost pork production and export. According to the forecasts of experts from the European Commission[8], the production of pork in 2020 is expected to rise by 0.5%, while exports should rise by 13.0%[9], confirming the high interest in European meat products. A similar growth in exports can be seen in the USA; according to forecasts by the United States Meat Export Federation [10], the export of pork in 2020 is also expected to increase by 13.0%, while the export of beef should rise by 5.0%. The share of imported red meat consumed in the USA is expected to decrease slightly, from 8.5% to a stable 8.1% of meat consumed[11].

“Most forecasts indicate that in 2020 the strong growth trend in the international red meat trade will be continued. This is a win-win situation; consumers in target markets get access to a high quality product at a good price, while producers on both sides of the Atlantic will find new buyers for their products. Despite the significance of the situation in Asia for the global market, trade between the EU and USA is expected to continue to grow, in part due to the increase in production of cuts which are less popular in the Far East.”

Source: Meat from Europe