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Weekly Overview: China Forecast to Maintain Pork Imports in 2017

19 December 2016, at 12:00am

GLOBAL - A new report from Rabobank has revealed that it expects consumers in 2017 to benefit from downward pressure on global meat prices.

The report, Prices Under Pressure in a Supply-Driven Market: Global Outlook for Animal Protein in 2017, found that high supply and a competitive market are expected to push down current prices.

Rabobank also predicts that China will continue to exert a huge influence on global meat markets. The world’s most populous country increased pork imports to record levels in 2016 and it is forecast that these import levels will remain constant next year.

In the US, production is expected to continue growing, but consumers’ appetites are being tested as record levels are reached. The strong dollar and uncertainty over future trading relationships with China and Mexico create potential headwinds for American producers.

The US is currently the world’s largest exporter of pork to China, excluding the EU.

The US's pork exports made the news this week as they recorded double digit growth from last year.

USDA statistics showed that October pork exports totaled 201,936 metric tons, up 14 per cent year-over-year and the largest monthly volume since March 2014.

Export value was $521.1 million, up 16 per cent. For January through October, export volume was 6 per cent above last year’s pace at 1.86 million mt, while export value was up 3 per cent to $4.79 billion.

Also this week, US hog slaughter broke new records. Market analyst, Ron Plain, stated that hog slaughter for the week ending 16 December totaled 2.544 million head, up 4.1 per cent from the previous week, up 1.8 per cent from the same week last year, and 1,000 head more than the old record set two weeks ago.