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The pork industry is facing one of the worst outbreaks in history

The pork market is one of the mos valuable in the world worth an estimated USD 300 to 400 billion annually. Its total economic value however is in the USD trillions when you consider employment income and the amount of income it generates for the F&B industry.


Pork prior to 2019, when the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak began spreading, was the most widely eaten meat in the world (40%), followed by poultry and beef. Since then pork supply has crashed as ASF, a highly contagious and deadly swine disease, has led to the slaughter of hundreds of millions of pigs. The severity of the crisis has resulted in global pork prices rising, spurred largely by demand from China, where as many as 200 million pigs have been lost since ASF broke out. While ASF does not spread to humans, it is virtually 100% fatal in pigs. In terms of global pork production, production has dropped from a peak of 121 million mt in 2019 to 101 million mt, a level not seen since 2006.

China is the world's largest consumer (48%), producer (39%) and importer (39%) of pork in the world. ASF has disrupted the entire global industry but none more so than within China where up to 50% of its entire pig population was killed. The Asian Development Bank estimated that the ASF outbreak cost the industry as much 130 USD billion last year alone. China however with its vast financial and natural resources has been able to recover relatively quickly unlike other countries, namely the Philippines.

The Philippines due to ASF crisis has today become one of the most lucrative pork markets in the world with prices up more than 75% since 2020. This is a direct result of its inability to produce or even import sufficient supply, due to limited export availability and its lack of an agricultural import safety controls.  The Philippines is one of the only countries in the world without an agricultural import quality control facility meaning it is unable to stop infected imports entering the country, which has resulted in prices skyrocketing more so than elsewhere. 


  • Pork production reached a record high of 121 million MT in 2018, before crashing ever year since then due to African Swine Flu

  • Today, pork production has reached a 20 year low and for the first time in history chicken has surpassed it as the most consumed meat in the world due to limited supply.

  • China is by far the world largest producer and consumer of pork, accounting for 48% and 43% of world figures, respectively.

  • Asia is the worlds largest importer, buying 67% of all global pork exports

  • Shockingly Asia, purchases almost 100% of its pork supply from outside the region, specifically from Europe, North America & South America.

  • The Philippines has the most lucrative pork market in the world with prices up 76% since 2019, despite imports increasing 142% last year alone, due to insufficient production and export availability.

  • Pork is a key staple in the Philippines and accounts for 60% of all meat consumption, compared to the world average of 40%.

  • When you consider the imports of pork to the Philippines in combination with it having the 13th largest population in the world which is growing 5x faster than the EU, North America and China - it is no wonder why the present pork crisis is so economically and politically threatening to the country.

Livestock (Pigs) Key Stats

Livestock Production.png

Livestock Production by Country

(1'000 Metric Tons)


Source: FAOSTAT, USDA Livestock & Poultry World Markets and Trade, and AGRI Developments

Livestock Consumption.png

Livestock Consumption by Country

(1'000 Metric Tons)

Source: FAOSTAT, USDA Livestock & Poultry World Markets and Trade, and AGRI Developments

Livestock Exports by Share


Livestock Exports.png

Livestock Imports by Share


Livestock Imports.png

Source: FAOSTAT, USDA Livestock & Poultry World Markets and Trade, and AGRI Developments

Source: FAOSTAT, USDA Livestock & Poultry World Markets and Trade, and AGRI Developments

Did You Know?

  • Wall Street in New York is named after a wall that was built in Manhattan to stop free roaming pigs from entering.

  • The raw pork industry is one the most valuable in the world worth an estimated USD 300 - 400 billion annually.

  • Pigs are more intelligent and trainable than any breed of dog and learn their names in just two weeks,

  • Pigs are the most versatile animal on the planet - used in candy, yogurt, bread, cosmetics, clothing and medicine.


African Swine Fever has resulted in a global pork crisis, killing 25% of the world's pigs since 2020. Global production is now at levels not seen since 2006.

Food and Agriculture Organization, United Nations


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