Global Pork Industry Outlook Q2 2024: Navigating Toward Recovery

Summary: The global pork industry is showing signs of recovery as it approaches the second quarter of 2024, with several key factors influencing its path to improved profitability. After months of decline, sow herd numbers are stabilizing, suggesting a more balanced supply-demand scenario. Although a significant increase in the breeding herd isn’t expected until late 2024 or early 2025, productivity improvements and enhanced herd health in the US, Canada, and China are boosting production levels.

Feed costs have decreased thanks to higher global stocks of grains and oilseeds, largely due to a robust crop yield in South America. This reduction in feed costs is helping to offset other inflationary pressures, aiding the industry’s return to profitability. Additionally, pork continues to be a cost-effective protein choice for consumers, especially as beef prices climb. This value proposition is supported by a trend towards more in-home meal preparation and a growing preference for frozen products.

Looking forward, the industry must keep an eye on several factors that could affect growth and stability. These include changes in sow and hog herd inventories influenced by various factors like disease, regulatory changes, and productivity shifts. Weather conditions associated with La Niña could impact crop conditions and feed prices as the Northern Hemisphere begins the spring planting season. Trade route disruptions and the implementation of stricter animal welfare policies in certain regions could also pose challenges. Furthermore, biosecurity remains a critical concern due to ongoing disease pressures.

The industry’s trajectory will also be influenced by broader economic conditions in key markets such as the US, Europe, and Asia, which affect employment levels, consumer spending, and overall economic activity. As these dynamics play out, stakeholders should stay vigilant and adapt to the evolving market landscape.

Download the full report