Pork Meat Market Size in Asia
The pork meat market in Asia was valued at 212.38 billion USD in 2016. Until 2020, it grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.22% to reach 260.34 billion USD.
Market Share by Country
China held the largest share of the market value with 82.8% of the total. Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, and the Philippines followed with a share of 4.4%, 2.9%, 2.8%, and 2.3%, respectively. All other countries recorded a share of 1% or less of the total value.
Origin of Pork Meat
In 2020, roughly 90% of the total pork meat in Asia was produced in the region, as a result 10% was imported from outside the region.
Pork Meat Market CAGR 2016-2020
Among the countries in Asia, Sri Lanka recorded the largest growth, at a 19.68% CAGR for the period. It was followed by Mongolia, Malaysia, and Myanmar at a CAGR of 12.89%, 11.73%, and 11.06%, respectively. Bangladesh and Indonesia recorded the largest declines at a CAGR of -100% and -8.33%, respectively.
Pork Meat Market Trends in Asia
Health and Wellness
The increased consumer awareness and emphasis on health and wellness significantly influences the Asian pork meat market. Furthermore, the desire for functional foods and clean label products that offer additional health benefits continues to drive the trend forward.
People are more conscious of the link between their diet and health, resulting in a shift towards protein-rich foods like pork meat. Pork is a superb source of protein along with vitamins and minerals like thiamine, selenium, zinc, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, niacin, phosphorus, and iron.
Its consumption is also shown to boost physical performance through beta-alanine, an amino acid that produces carnosine. The growing interest in bodybuilding and muscle strengthening also contributes to the demand for pork meat.
As a response to these health-conscious consumers, there is a rise of premium and transparent products with short ingredient lists on the market. Thus, companies focus on high-quality pork meat to gain customer trust and meet expectations for healthier options.
Impact of COVID-19 on the Pork Meat Market in Asia
The pandemic led to disruptions in the supply chain, factory closures, and reduced consumer confidence, affecting the overall economy of each country in Asia.
Despite that, the pandemic led to a contrast in fortunes for meat plants in Asia compared to the United States of America. Meat plants in the United States became hotspots for the virus, leading to closures and meat shortages.
However, Asian meat plants largely avoided a similar fate. That was due to the decisive response and strict measures implemented by Asian governments and businesses. Those include temperature checks, mask-wearing, and social distancing in factories.
However, the pandemic did cause some disruption in the Asian pork meat market. For instance, in China, pork prices plummeted due to market panic sparked by COVID-19 outbreaks. This led to a significant decrease in the profitability of the pork industry, which was already severely pummeled by an African Swine Fever epidemic in 2018-2019.
The fear and uncertainty around the virus resulted in a "panic" in the pork market, with companies reducing their production due to concerns about the virus’ spread in meat plants and the potential for decreased demand. As a result, supply of pork on the market exceeded demand, leading to a significant drop in prices.
Furthermore, fears about contracting the virus from meat and a lack of trust in institutions led to changes in shopping habits. As a result, some consumers decided to avoid meat entirely and shifted towards vegetarian and vegan diets.
Additionally, lockdowns and food establishment closures resulted in a shift towards e-commerce. Therefore, a lot of consumers heavily relied (and continue to rely) on online channels for purchasing groceries and general shopping.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a profound effect on the pork meat market in Asia. It influenced the industry, individual countries, consumers, and the continent as a whole. In the short term, the pandemic led to an increase in public awareness of zoonoses (diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans) and modifications in meat consumption patterns. The long-term effects of these changes are yet to be fully understood.
African Swine Fever in China and the Effect on the Pork Meat Market
In 2018-2019, China experienced an outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF), which reduced the country’s pig population by more than 53 million (from 428 million to 375 million).
The disease is highly contagious and deadly to pigs and was reported in most of the country’s 31 provinces. In 3. August 2019, a total of 151 ASF clusters of outbreaks were reported in China. They caused severe economic losses for the industry, pig farmers, pork producers, as well as pork feed producers and suppliers.
China is the largest producer and consumer of pork meat in the world. As a result, ASF had a major impact on the pork meat market in China. In 2018, the country produced 54 million tons of pork meat, which was 45% of the total global production. The pork production volume in the country continued to fall until 2020, and didn’t recover to 2018 levels until 2021.
However, since the beginning of 2023, another ASF outbreak was recorded in China and Indonesia. The surge in infections is expected to reduce hog output later this year, leading to an increase in pork prices and lower food security.
Therefore, the African Swine Fever epidemic will likely lead to a decline in pork production in some Asian countries. Moreover, since over 50% of the world's pig population is in Asia, ASF outbreaks in Asia will affect the global pig industry.
Population Rise Affects Asian Pork Meat Consumption Patterns
The region's growing population, urbanization, and rising incomes significantly influence the Asian pork meat market. That leads to increased demand for pork meat.
Population growth in Asia, particularly in Southeast Asia, led to an increase in demand for pork meat and meat products. That is due to rising incomes and a growing middle class, resulting in changes to dietary habits. Thus, more people can afford to eat meat more often, leading to increased consumption of pork.
Urbanization also plays a significant role in shaping the pork meat market. As more people move to cities, their lifestyles and eating habits change accordingly. Urban consumers often have a busier lifestyle and prefer convenient, ready-to-eat meals and snacks.
As a result, consumer demand increases for processed and packaged pork products that can be enjoyed on-the-go. That drives the development of sliced or cubed formats and snackable pork meat products that provide convenience, freshness, and good taste.
Moreover, as the quality of life improves in Asia, demand for animal protein also steadily increases. That creates greater demand for feed crops, leading to changes in the agricultural sector.
While the growing demand for pork presents opportunities for the meat industry, it also brings challenges. These include the ability to ensure food security, managing limited resources, and addressing environmental concerns. There is a need for new technological innovations in livestock production to meet the increasing demand for pork and ensure the stability of the regional and global economy.
Technological Advancements in the Pork Meat Market in Asia
Technological innovations play a crucial role in shaping the Asian pork meat market. Advancements in blockchain technology, automation, and ingredient traceability enhance transparency, efficiency, and consumer trust in the supply chain of pork meat.
Blockchain technology enables improved traceability, which allows consumers to access information about the meat's origin and production process. Automation increases productivity and reduces labor costs, while ingredient traceability ensures the use of natural and safe components in food products.
Moreover, the emergence of cell-cultured meat and plant-based meat alternatives provides consumers with more choice. Alternative meats also cater to consumer preferences for more sustainable and ethically sourced products, despite the premium they come with.
Sustainability and Environmental Concerns
Increased concern regarding the environmental impact of agricultural activities drives demand for sustainable pork meat. More consumers are willing to pay more for products with a lower environmental footprint. That encourages producers to adopt sustainable farming practices and reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions.
Furthermore, companies focus on the provenance and traceability of meat. Thus, they can provide information on how animals are bred and the nature of the supply chain. Therefore, sustainability practices provide companies a competitive advantage, in addition to investments in social responsibility initiatives. These actions align with consumer values and contribute to a sustainable economy.
The pork meat market in Asia experienced a shift driven by market disruptions, evolving consumer preferences, and technological advancements.
The COVID-19 pandemic and African Swine Fever outbreaks presented significant challenges. Yet, as the region's population continues to grow and urbanization accelerates, demand for convenient and ready-to-eat pork products will continue to rise.
The increased emphasis on health and wellness fuels demand for functional pork products that offer additional health benefits. Sustainability will drive demand for environmentally friendly pork meat products while technological innovations enhance supply chain efficiency and transparency.
Adapting to these trends and challenges will be crucial for the industry to meet consumer expectations and ensure a bright future for the pork meat market in Asia.