Pork exports set records in 2003

by 5m Editor
1 March 2004, at 12:00am

US - In 2003, U.S. pork exports set another export record. This is the 13th straight year of increases for U.S. pork exports.

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Pork exports totaled 757,905 metric tons valued at $1.582 billion, an increase of four percent by volume and five percent by value over 2002 exports. These exports help support U.S. hog prices.

The Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University has calculated that in 2003, U.S. pork prices were $23 per head higher than they would have been in the absence of exports.

Much of the growth in U.S. pork exports is directly attributable to new and expanded market access. However, as the benefits from the Uruguay Round and the North American Free Trade Agreement begin to diminish, the creation of new trade opportunities becomes increasingly important.

For this reason, NPPC continues to work hard to open new markets for U.S. pork exports. In addition, NPPC's efforts to re-open and maintain open export markets have protected pork producer's bottom lines. Additionally, the intense political pressure generated by NPPC in response to Mexico's illegal initiation of an antidumping case has kept pork flowing to Mexico.

Iowa State economist Dermot Hayes estimates that a restriction on U.S. pork exports to Mexico would cause U.S. live hog prices to decline by approximately $6 per head. In addition, new or increased market access for U.S. pork is expected in 2004 or 2005 once recent initiatives that NPPC has been engaged on come to fruition in Russia, Australia, and Central America.

Likewise, hog exports are back on track. Due to intense political pressure generated by NPPC through the U.S. government, Mexico terminated the Antidumping Order on live U.S. slaughter hogs as of May 26, 2003. According to Iowa State economist Dermot Hayes, total U.S. live hog exports to Mexico should reach a volume of about 1 million annually once the market has fully adjusted.

Hayes calculates the total benefit to U.S. producers between avoiding steep U.S. discounts and attaining the premium in Mexico to be $16 per lightweight hog exported or $16 million in total additional profits to U.S. pork producers.

Source: National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) - 27th February 2004

5m Editor