Expectations as a Result of Pork Export Market

CANADA - The Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture expects the export market for pork to play a key role in setting live hog prices during 2009, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 9 February 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

During 2008 US pork exports increased by over 70 per cent from 2007 driven by large increases in exports to Russia, Hong Kong and China, pushing the US share of the global market to about 40 per cent, compared to the European Union at about 24 per cent, Canada at about 17 per cent and Brazil at about 11 per cent.

Brad Marceniuk, a livestock economist with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture told those on hand last week for the 2009 Manitoba Swine Symposium, the volume of pork in cold storage remains a concern.

Brad Marceniuk-Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture

When we look at the total meat stocks in cold storage in the US we've seen a big jump from 2007 to 2008 on how much meat is in cold storage.

Stocks have increased to over 2.2 billion pounds in the last few months.

While we look at production for 2009 it looks like total production of pork, beef and poultry will be down in the United States in 2009 and we should start to reduce this cold storage number hopefully over the next couple of months.

The one concern here, as we move into '09, now that the US dollar has increased in value, will their exports be as strong in '09 as in '08?

If their exports do decline significantly we could have more pork in storage in here North America which could put pressure on prices in '09.

It will be interesting to see, though, if we do have a recession over the year if more people will be at home and will people start to eat more pork?

Marceniuk points out North American per capita consumption has fallen by about six kilograms per person since 1998 reducing the importance of the domestic market and increasing the importance of the export market.

He notes exports increased to Japan in 2008, there was a large increase in exports to China and Korea and Russia have also been important markets for Canada.

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