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US Swine Economics Report - U.S. pork exports record high

by 5m Editor
13 June 2007, at 10:37am

US - Regular report by Ron Plain on the US Swine industry.

U.S. pork exports were record high in each of the last 15 years. Export growth has contributed greatly to the profitability of hog production during the last few years by reducing the pork supply on the domestic market.

Unfortunately, U.S. pork exports are off to a slow start in 2007. U.S. pork exports were down 13.35% in April compared to 12 months earlier. During the first 4 months of 2007 exports are down 1% compared to January-April 2006. Mexico, our second biggest foreign customer, purchased 24% less U.S. pork during the first third of the year. Exports are also down to Russia and Taiwan. Fortunately, the biggest foreign buyer of pork, Japan, purchased 12.5% more U.S. pork In January-April than during the same months of 2006. South Korea has purchased 8% more pork thus far in 2007.

U.S. pork exports during April totaled 224.701 million pounds (carcass weight equivalent). That was 13.1% of U.S. pork production during the month.

U.S. imports of pork during April were up 7.2% from 12 months earlier. January-April pork imports were down 2.5% compared to the same period last year with our biggest supplier, Canada, accounting for all of the decline. Canadian hog slaughter has been running below year-earlier levels. So, it is not surprising that less pork is being shipped south. The strength of the Canadian dollar is making it difficult for Canadian hog producers and packers to compete with their U.S. counterparts.

The U.S. exported 14.3% of its pork production during the first 4 months of this year. During the same period, imports accounted for 4.6% of U.S. pork consumption.

The number of live hogs imported from Canada during the first 4 months of this year was up 9.2% compared to January-April 2006 with 150,786 more feeder pigs being imported and 107,411 more hogs brought south. About 56% of the feeder pig imports are of pigs weighing less than 15 pounds. Live hog imports are on a pace to break the 2006 record of 8.76 million head imported.

5m Editor