US Swine Economics Report - 16th June 2003

US - Regular report by Ron Plain on the US Swine industry, this week reporting that profitability has finally returned to the hog industry
calendar icon 18 June 2003
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Ron Plain
Ron Plain

Through April, U.S. pork exports were up 7.6% compared to the first four months of 2002. This increase occurred despite a 19.6% drop in shipments to Mexico and a 17.2% decline in exports to Canada, our number two and three foreign customers.

Fortunately, our biggest customer, Japan, increased its purchases of U.S. pork by 10.2% and South Korea, our fourth biggest foreign buyer, bought 115% more pork than during January-April 2002.

Shipments of pork to the U.S. increased by 19.78% during the first third of 2003. Compared to the first four months of 2002, we purchased 18.9% more pork from Canada and 27.8% more pork from Denmark.

During the first four months of 2003, pork imports were equal to 6% of U.S. pork production and pork exports equaled 8.5% of U.S. pork production. On balance, we have a net positive pork trade balance equal to 2.5% of U.S. production.

The number of feeder pigs imported from Canada was 21.7% higher during January-April 2003 than 12 months earlier. Slaughter hog imports from Canada were down 22.6% during this period. Total live hog imports from Canada were 5.2% larger than in the first third of 2002. The shift toward feeder pigs and away from slaughter hogs in the mix of live imports from Canada is expected to continue.

Hog exports during January-April were down 41.5%. Live hog exports during the second half of 2003 should increase now that Mexico has ended their special tariff on hog imports from the U.S.

Despite U.S. pork prices being well above last year's level, the odds appear favorable that 2003 will be our 12th consecutive record year for U.S. pork exports.

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