EU agricultural market to be reshaped by the ASF crisis
The largest biosecurity crisis stirred by the ASF situation in Asia and Eastern Europe is to reshape the agricultural landscape in the European Union, argues the European Commission in its latest report. The dramatic situation in China, where 50% of the national swine inventory has been wiped out due to the ASF crisis, and consumer's preferences for plant-based protein products are expected to change the dietary habits in the EU market.
Fluctuating pork prices and higher cultivation of plants used in plant-based protein products are the elements that will dominate the next decade, says the report. According to the outlook presented by the Commission, annual pork exports from the EU could peak at more than 4 million tonnes around 2022, depending on the pace of recovery in China's pig herds, compared with about 2.7 million tonnes last year. Pork exports were then seen easing to around 3.4 million tonnes by 2030, still well above volumes before the Chinese ASF outbreak.
"Prices should remain high until Chinese production recovers, and may fall sharply depending on the speed of the recovery and how much the production of EU competitors grows", it is said in the report. However, the uncertainty over whether the EU's main pork exporters -- Germany, Spain, Denmark and France -- would remain free of the disease, may change the prognosis.
In the EU market, poultry will cover the gap created by the rise in pork exports to China and it will remain like that even if a fall in prices will occur over the next 10 years.
Poultry consumption is growing steadily, and is expected to continue doing so, the Commission said, as consumer concerns about health, the environment and animal welfare suppress demand for other meat products. Those concerns are also expected to favor the cultivation of protein-rich crops.
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