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US Pork Outlook Report - December 2008

by 5m Editor
18 December 2008, at 12:00am

By the USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) - This article is an extract from the December 2008: Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook Report. After strong exports for most of 2008, a weaker 4th quarter is expected.

Export forecasts for fourth-quarter 2008 and for 2009 were lowered on expectations for continued slower economic activity in important US foreign markets. Fourth-quarter 2008 exports are expected to be 1.2 billion pounds, and total 2009 pork exports are expected to be 4.1 billion pounds, 14 percent below this year, but more than 30 per cent ahead of 2007. October 2008 pork exports were 25 per cent greater than a year ago.

Export Forecasts Lowered

USDA export forecasts for fourth-quarter 2008 and for 2009 were reduced, based on lower-than-expected third-quarter exports, and expectations for continued slower economic growth next year in important foreign markets for US pork. Fourthquarter 2008 exports were lowered by 200 million pounds to 1.150 billion pounds, 20 per cent higher than a year ago. The pork export forecast for 2009 was lowered by 400 million pounds to 4.1 billion pounds, 14 per cent below 2008, but more than 30 per cent ahead of 2007.

October Exports Increase 25 Per Cent

US pork exports in October were 392 million pounds, 25 per cent above October a year ago. The table below shows the 12 most important US exports markets so far this year. On a cumulative basis, through October 2008, exports were 61 per cent greater than in the same period last year. In the first 10 months of 2008, the top five export destinations for US pork were Japan, Mexico, Hong Kong, Russia, and China. Although still in the top five on a cumulative basis, China’s monthly exports have been year-over-year lower since August, coinciding with its improved herd health situation and the end of the Olympic Games. Japan continues to be far and away the most important export destination for US pork. Even with its lower overall share of US exports so far this year—28 per cent vs. 36 per cent through October 2007—Japan imports of US pork alone have accounted for about 6 per cent of US commercial pork production in the first 10 months of 2008.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

December 2008