US Swine Economics Report - 17th November 2003

Regular report by Ron Plain on the US Swine industry, this week discussing how pork exports are on their way to another record year.
calendar icon 17 November 2003
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Ron Plain
Ron Plain

The U.S. is well on its way to our 12th consecutive record year of pork exports. During the first nine months of 2003, we exported 1.257 billion pounds of pork, which is 58 million pounds more than during the same period last year. It is also more pork than we exported in any year prior to 1999. Through September, U.S. pork exports were up 4.9% compared to the first nine months of 2002. This increase occurred despite a 1.2% drop in shipments to Mexico, our number two foreign customer, and a 9.6% decline in shipments to Canada, the third most common destination for U.S. pork exports.

Fortunately, our biggest customer, Japan, increased its purchases of U.S. pork by 4.2% and South Korea, our fourth largest foreign buyer, bought 40% more pork than during January-September 2002.

Imports of pork into the U.S. during the first three quarters of 2003 (889 million pounds) were up by 15.1%. Compared to the same period last year, we have purchased 14.2% more pork from Canada and 26.2% more pork from Denmark.

During the first nine months of 2003, pork imports were equal to 6.2% of U.S. pork production and pork exports equaled 8.7% 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 (3.6 million) was 34.2% higher during January-September 2003 than a year ago. Slaughter hog imports from Canada (1.6 million) were up 8.9% during this period. Total live hog imports from Canada were 25.2% larger than in the first nine months of 2002. At the current pace, we will import 7 million hogs and pigs from Canada during calendar year 2003.

Hog exports during January-September (89,483 head) were down 42%. U.S. hog exports do not have a significant impact on the market. For each hog the U.S. exports, we import 59.

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