Global pork and beef production forecast to drop next year

Tight margins for producers in 2024 are expected to lead to a contraction in global pork and beef production, despite some falling input costs and reduced inflation.

Higher production costs and tighter supplies will push animal protein prices up and constrain global consumption in 2024, according to multinational co-operative bank Rabobank.

Rabobank’s annual animal protein report found that, although some production costs are likely to drop back, others such as labour are predicted to remain high.

Justin Sherrard, global strategist animal protein at Rabobank, said: “Despite a cost-of-living crisis putting pressure on consumer finances, there continues to be demand for animal protein, and companies have been able to overcome challenges, from high costs to regulatory uncertainty and disease, to capitalise on it.

“Instead of simply riding out the storm, animal protein businesses need to take stock of their strengths and prepare to transition their supply chains to operating in an environment with high costs and tight margins.”

Europe and North America are expected to see production contract, while Brazil, South-east Asia, China, Australia and New Zealand are expected to have some growth.

South America is forecast to increase its share of global beef trade from 40% to 50% in the next five years.

The USDA’s Livestock and Poultry: World Markets and Trade report suggests UK pork exports may increase by 9% in 2024, with greater supplies available for export to the EU and China.

EU short-term outlook

EU pork exports were estimated to be down by about 16% in 2023, according to an EU Commission report.

The report said if prices continue to decline, some market shares might be regained, resulting in a 5% increase in exports in 2024.

Meanwhile, EU beef imports are forecast to increase by 5% next year.