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WPX: 2021 Export Projections for the US Pork Industry

China, Central America and The Philippines remain strong export markets for the US

2 August 2021, at 2:00am

At World Pork Expo, Dr. David Newman, a member of the National Pork Board - Board of Directors, discussed global trade projections for the US pork industry for the second half of 2021.

Dr. David Newman, member of the National Pork Board, Board of Directors, discusses projections for the US pork industry with The Pig Site's Sarah Mikesell at 2021 World Pork Expo

“Trade continues to be a huge part of the US pork business. In the United States, we're at record production and export is playing a significant role in the value of US pork for producers," said Newman. "We continue to see that volume grow even with the most recent data that just came out today [June 10] through the Foreign Ag Service and U.S. Meat Export Federation. Our export markets continue to grow and they're very strong.”

The coronavirus created a worldwide disruption to most industries, and the meat industry was no exception. The end of the pandemic appears to be in sight, and recently export markets have come back very strong, he said. Data from Foreign Ag Service and the United States Meat Export Federation suggests that Central America is very strong market for the US. The Philippines is also very strong, having grown 250+% in volume and value. China pork trade continues to be the largest in volume, but volume is down 23% and value is down 27% year to-date.

“Our goal working for the 60,000 pork producers in America who pay into the checkoff system is taking those dollars and leveraging them. We're looking at diversification of markets. It's not just about the people we've traded with for 20 to 30 years," Newman explained. "It's about the people we're going to be trading with 20 or 30 years from now. We use those dollars to conduct research and get market access. We want to understand where the emerging markets are going to be. The leveraging of those checkoff dollars, one of the best examples we have of that is actually with our partnership with U.S. Meat Export Federation.”

The National Pork Board leverages US producer's checkoff dollars with USMEF and USDA. They’re able to take a producer’s dollar, magnify it, and get open market access.

The pork market is also built on relationship building, and some markets take years to foster good relationships. Japan has been a longstanding, important outlet for US pork for many years, especially with products such as seasoned ground pork.

"We're looking at 30% of our volume and at approximately 130 million pigs, that's a very significant relationship to stay on top of," he said.

The US is projected to export a record volume of pork this year, according to Newman.