With COVID-19 causing pork processing facilities to pause production and slow line speeds, not all pork will make its way through the supply chain. Weaker expected economic growth and impacts of COVID-19 on foodservice demand are also expected to dampen the demand for pork.
African swine fever is still causing disruption in pork production in Asia. According to the current USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Livestock and Poultry: World Markets and Trade report, the global pork production forecast for 2020 has been lowered 2% to 94.3 million tons due to reduced expectations for China where the industry struggles to recover from African swine fever. Global production is forecast 7% lower year-over-year, largely due to reduced output in China, Vietnam and Philippines, all countries affected by ASF.
Production growth in the United States, Brazil and to a lesser extent the EU Customs Union offsets some of the declines in Asia, as recent strong export demand has encouraged producers to expand herds. Global pork exports are raised to 10.5 million tons due to strong demand for pork from China. China's imports are raised to 3.9 million tons, accounting for 40% of global imports. Import forecasts for countries other than China have mostly been reduced for 2020.