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Pork Market Analysis

Historically, pork has been the most consumed animal protein on a global basis, highly commoditized in the form of live animals as well as cuts of meat. Due to the wide diet consumable by hogs, pork production can happen in many different growing zones around the world, without significant roaming requirements for the animals. Continued access to refrigeration in industrialized nations allows more pork product to be purchased and stored, and ultimately consumed, than any other time in history. The growing middle class, on a world-wide basis, is demanding more pork, with growth expected over the next decade, without signs of slowing down.

Key facts about the global pork market
  • China was, and still is, the largest producer of pork on a global basis, despite strong losses in its herd size on account of African swine fever during 2018 and 2019.
  • Up until 2019, when China lost significant portions of its hog herd, pork production was the largest single animal protein on the planet, set to reclaim that position from chicken in 2-3 years as China rebuilds its herd.
  • The US is the second largest, single producer of pork, after China, but ranks third when factoring all of the European Union bloc together.
  • China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of pork, as well as the largest importer of pork product.
  • Pork exports account on average for 23% of US pork production and in 2020 will enter a sixth year of record hog and pork production.
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Key themes affecting the pork market

When African swine fever was first reported in China in August of 2018, the world producers of pork were on notice that there could be a dramatic shift in demand for pork product. China has lost 25% of its production capabilities and has never been a net-exporter of pork production. All of the world’s combined pork traded globally would not be enough to make up for China’s shortfall in production, without notice. Global expansion of the hog herd, outside of China, was up roughly 2% going into 2019, not a fraction of the losses experienced by China. China’s per capita pork consumption is down on record pork prices in China last year, rebuilding its herd and importing excess pork production globally. This has created a significant redistribution of trade, impacting all pork markets and hog producing nations. International pork trade increased significantly in 2019 and is expected to continue, but so has the volatility in trade relationships for agricultural commodities between China and the rest of the world. Trade relationships and competitive tariff rates will be drivers in hog herd expansion both in the US and other countries, as producers and packers determine the clearance channels required for the 10-month life cycle of market hog from inception. Hogs are rarely raised for the storage of meat, as product breaks down in cold storage after several months, making forward sales and relationships critical to hog and pork production.

US Pork Cutout Value, $ / CWT
Q1, avg weekly priceQ2, avg weekly priceQ3, avg weekly priceQ4, avg weekly price
2015$67-85$65-87$81-90$69-89
2016$70-77$77-89$75-90$73-82
2017$77-85$74-102$73-105$73-84
2018$70-82$66-87$66-86$67-80
2019$60-81$75-87$69-89$75-87

Solutions

At IHS Markit we offer market-leading food commodities information solutions via our Food and Agricultural Commodities Market Reporting and Economics services, across 20,000+ datasets. We are specialists in offering comprehensive data and analysis across the global agricultural commodities and processed food markets, with current, short-term and long-term solutions to support all your operational needs.

Current market information
Food Commodities News

Our Food and Agricultural Commodities Market Reporting service is the market leader in updates and news on the agricultural commodity and processed food markets, with modular channel access available across the breadth of traded food, including the international pork market. Coverage spans from pricing news and key trends impacting production to incoming legislation and geopolitical impacts to the market. An subscription, powered by IEG Vu, also includes access to a range of historic data tools covering pricing, trade volumes and production at a granular level.

Short and mid-term forecasts
Weekly and monthly production, trade and price forecasts

Our Food and Agricultural Commodities Economics service, powered by IEG Vantage, is the only service in the market that provides comprehensive analysis of near-term market developments for the 12 months ahead, from market trends to supply-demand, production and price forecasts. Pork coverage spans US and international markets for whole animals and processed cuts of meat. Subscriptions also include daily market commentary to provide context for daily trading and procurement workflow needs.

Long-term market outlooks
Agriculture Forecasting

Our Agriculture Pricing and Purchasing Service enables supply chain cost savings with 10-year cost and price forecasts across all agricultural products and inputs, from edible food commodities to paper and plastic packaging and wages. Over 3,000 global data sets are available via a cost analyser platform that supports clients in understanding escalation rates to improve their business buying performance. Data can also be input into a cost modelling framework that breaks down input costs to manufactured food products.

Bespoke solutions
API and Data Feeds

Pricing, supply-demand and forecasts delivered directly to your organisation to support centralised models and trading systems used by team members across your business.

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One-time Data Exports

Over three decades of historical pricing, production and trade data across all food commodities sectors available to purchase to support your organisation with strategic analysis and economic modelling. 

Consulting

Consulting services spanning all your needs in the agricultural commodities and processed food markets, from long-term forecasting beyond what is available in our subscription services to market studies for financial investments reviewing everything from market forecasts to competitor intelligence.

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