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Competition from Eastern Europe and Beyond - New Players in the Global Pork Industry

by 5m Editor
11 December 2006, at 12:00am

By Fiona Boal and presented at the 2006 Banff Pork Seminar - The twenty-first century pork industry is evolving at a rapid pace. It is characterised by increased levels of global competition, expansion of industrialized production, vertically integrated value chains and production of differentiated products to meet the needs of increasingly demanding consumers.


For Canadian hog farmers, gaining an appreciation of the global operating environment, especially the emergence of new hog production regions, is important in assessing the future direction and profitability of the industry and their own enterprises.

The Global Pork Matrix

World pork production has increased more than 42% since 1990, from 65.9 million tonnes to 93.6 million tonnes in 2005. Over the same period beef production increased only 2% while poultry production more than doubled. China continues to completely dominate global pork production, whereas the European Union’s (EU) share of total production has fallen significantly, despite the addition of new member states, many of whom are traditional pork producing countries .

Trade in pork has more than doubled since 1990. Trade in pork and pork products is currently dominated by a small number of key players, namely Canada, the U.S., Brazil and the EU (Figure 2). While China remains a major exporter today it is expected to move from a net exporter to a net importer by the end of the decade. As is the case with many agricultural products, Brazil has asserted itself on the world pork stage over the last decade despite the fact that domestically, the pork industry remains a poor cousin to the beef and poultry sectors in terms of size, investment interest and domestic consumption. Canada has continued to cement its position in the world market taking advantage of its competitive cost structure, envious health status and proximity to the U.S.

Further Information

To continue reading this article, click here (PDF)

To view the full Banff Pork Listing, click here

To view the Banff Pork Seminar 2005 Proceedings, click here

Source: Paper presented during the 2006 Banff Pork Seminar Procedings