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Australian piggery values rise by 25% as pork exports uplift by 25%

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As reported by Agribusiness expert James Beveridge of Colliers, there has been an increase in Australian piggery values by 25 per cent since 2018. The increase in piggery values has been preceded by a period of consolidation within the pork industry, smaller operators selling in reaction to grain price pressure between 2017 – 2019.

While grain prices moderated at the close of 2019, leading up to that time there was immense pressure on feed costs perpetuated by the drought,” Mr Beveridge explains. “This led to small operators selling off to both large piggeries and to the rural lifestyle market.”

Another significant trend within Australia’s pork industry has been the rise in export volumes by approximately 25 per cent over the last 12 months. Queensland in particular has seen pork exports lift by 42 per cent from this time last year and a drop in import volumes by 23 per cent over the longer cyclical period.

Part of the increased demand for Australian pork is the quality of our product, protected by our strict biosecurity measures. The African Swine Fever, which has decimated a quarter of the world’s swine population since 2007, has reached a number of our export markets. This means there is significant demand coming from Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea,” Mr Beveridge says.

The Australian Government’s biosecurity budget announced May this year allocated $370 million to bio border protection, with $60 million dedicated to protecting Australia’s pork industry.

According to Mr Beveridge, the domestic pork price has followed the sporadic opening and closing of hospitality venues, but the fluctuating farm gate price has been offset by the relative low price of feed grain.  This trend is likely to continue until there is some stability in the restaurant trade.In a Covid-related trend, the annual uplift in pork demand and pricing that we usually see leading into Christmas has not happened due to restaurant and hospitality closures. Wholesalers have remaining stock due to reduced demand, especially with products like pork belly.”