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Argentina’s pig industry grew 8.5% in H1 2021

Argentina’s pig production continues to grow. During the first half of 2021, the country’s pig production grew by 8.5%, reaching up to 344,000 tonnes.

The Argentinean consultancy firm IES stated that those numbers reflect a growing demand from China as well as an increase in internal consumption, despite market uncertainty.

Pork exports to China

In recent years, China has invested in the beefing up of Argentina’s pig industry, also to meet the Chinese domestic demand. Argentina’s foreign pork trade volume jumped by 27.8% (to 22,800 tonnes in total) and revenues grew by 55.6% (to US4.45 million) in the first half of 2021. According to the consultancy, shipments are likely to grow throughout the year and new records are likely to be set this season.

Part of the growth of the Argentinean pig industry is due to a growing demand to pigmeat from China. - Photo: Shutterstock
Part of the growth of the Argentinean pig industry is due to a growing demand to pigmeat from China. - Photo: Shutterstock

Pig production comes from a decade of continuous growth at rate of on average 9.1% per year. In 2020, Argentina achieved new peaks due to China’s needs for animal proteins, as consequence of African Swine Fever (ASF).

2020 already was a summit year for pork production

Last year, production reached 655,304 tonnes according to the Argentinean Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries and exports reached a new summit at 43,000 tonnes. The report highlights the forecasts for Argentina’s pig sector forecast are “positive” for both the short and medium terms, given domestic and external demand.

Total consumption arrived at 338,500 tonnes between January and July, which is 9.4% more compared to the same period last year. The sector could be heading for a new all-time record.

Domestic consumption

Domestic consumption also achieved growth during 2009 and 2020 thanks to a better balance of prices for pork and beef. During the 1st half of the 2021, on average per capita consumption was 15 kg. Thanks to a more favourable price level in comparison to beef, consumption “may continue at good levels” and grow “around 1 kg/year.”

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