US Swine Economics Report

by 5m Editor
15 June 2004, at 12:00am

Regular report by Ron Plain on the US Swine industry, this week reporting that US pork trade continues to do very well.

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Pork exports during April were above year-ago levels for the eighth consecutive month and for the sixteenth time in the last 17 months. During the first four months of 2004, the U.S. exported 711.548 million pounds of pork, 29.7% more than during the first third of 2003. Mexico's purchases of U.S. pork were up by 91.8% during this period; Canada bought 29.5% more, and we shipped 8.5% more U.S. pork to Japan than during January-April 2003. Barring a disaster, 2004 will be the thirteenth consecutive record year for U.S. pork exports.

During January-April 2004, the U.S. imported 359.18 million pounds of pork, 7.5% less than during the first third of 2003.

The excess of exports over imports (352.368 million pounds) was the greatest for any four month period with the possible exception of during the Second World War. In the first third of 2004, we exported 10.4% of U.S. pork production while imports equaled 5.2% of U.S. production. This spread between exports and imports is particularly impressive given that U.S. pork prices were over 20% higher during the first third of this year compared to 2003.

U.S. pork production was up by 298 million pounds during the first third of 2004. Our pork exports were up by 163 million pounds and our pork imports were down by 29 million pounds, leaving only 106 million pounds more pork on the domestic market than during January-April 2003. Thus, per capita U.S. pork consumption thus far in 2004 is only about a third of a pound higher than in 2003.

The situation is reversed for live hog trade. During the first four months of 2004, we imported 2,922,712 live hogs, 43.9% more than during the first third of 2003. Canada's shipment of slaughter hogs to the U.S. was up by 76.3% and their feeder pig shipments to us were up by 31.5%. The sharp increase in Canadian hog exports may be playing a role in the increased Canadian purchases of U.S. pork.

U.S. hog exports are not a big factor in the markets. During the first four months of 2004, we exported 88,638 live hogs, 139.9% more than during the first third of 2003.

5m Editor