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Experts Say Growing Pork Demand is Key Trend Going Forward

08 January 2014

US - Domestic and global pork demand is rising, just like the productivity of US pig farms, two industry experts have said.

Dr Daniel Sumner, the University of California and Dr Steve Meyer, Paragon Economics, have outlined potential trends that will shape the sector in the coming years for the Pork Checkoff programme. 

According to the pair:

• There is a marked increase in U.S. consumption of pork, which is outpacing sales of all meat products. U.S. pork consumption is at a 10-year high and only expected to increase.

• While the domestic pork market is the biggest by far for U.S. producers with 75 percent of U.S. pork production consumed domestically, Asia presents a growth market with 30-year projections of income growth and a rising middle class that demands more protein and produce.

• Productivity of the average pig farmer has increased, with pigs per litter and average market hog weights both increasing. This creates an immediate 2.6 percent increase in the amount of pork entering the market today.

• Food safety and farm practice issues will modify demand in rich countries and increasingly in middle-income countries with retailers - including foodservice firms - showing a strong interest in understanding farm practices and encouraging farmers to meet the demands of opinion leaders.

"Real per capita expenditures are very strong, with individual pork demand at its highest levels since 2004," said Meyer, who noted that the percentage growth in pork sales in the past year is the highest among all meat products, including pork, beef, poultry and lamb.

"Domestically, people are spending more on meat even while per capita income fails to grow. Following a year where animal activism increased its pressure through the release of undercover videos and the use of social media, people not only continued to buy meat, but in fact, bought more meat and paid significantly more for it," Meyer said.

Sumner said global income and population growth continue to drive pork demand.

"On a global basis, the need for increased pork production over the next decade is very real," Sumner said. "The U.S. pork industry must keep up, and even outperform past history, in order to meet increasing demand in both wealthy countries and those developing countries with rapidly growing per capita incomes."

ThePigSite News Desk

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