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US Swine Economics Report

by 5m Editor
20 July 2004, at 12:00am

Regular report by Ron Plain on the US Swine industry, this week discussing the increase in U.S. pork production.

Ron Plain
Ron Plain

Thanks to the rest of North America, U.S. pork exports are doing very well. During the first five months of 2004, the U.S. exported 896.719 million pounds of pork, 27.9% more than during the same period in 2003. Mexico's purchases of U.S. pork were up by 81.8% during this period and Canada bought 31% more. We shipped 7.7% more U.S. pork to Japan than during January-May 2003. Barring a disaster, 2004 will be the thirteenth consecutive record year for U.S. pork exports.

U.S. pork imports far in 2004 have been less than half of our pork exports. In the first five months of 2004, we exported 10.7% of U.S. pork production while imports equaled 5.3% of U.S. production. During January-May 2004, the U.S. imported 442.88 million pounds of pork, 8.5% less than during the first five months of 2003. Imports from Canada were down 9.3% and imports from Denmark were down 6.1%.

U.S. pork production was up by 247 million pounds during the first five months of 2004. Our pork exports were up by 196 million pounds and our pork imports were down by 41 million pounds, leaving only 10 million pounds more pork on the domestic market than during January-May 2003. Per capita U.S. pork consumption thus far in 2004 is unchanged from last year.

The situation is reversed for live hog trade. During the first five months of 2004, we imported 3,561,612 live hogs, 37% more than during January-May of 2003. Canada's shipment of slaughter hogs to the U.S. was up by 68.6% and their feeder pig shipments to us were up by 25.3%. Imports of Canadian slaughter hogs in the second half of 2004 is expected to be close to year-ago levels, but feeder pig imports are likely to continue to grow.

U.S. hog exports are not a big factor in the markets. We imports 38 hogs for each one the U.S. exports. During the first five months of 2004, we exported 93,740 live hogs, 138.9% more than during the same period last year.

5m Editor