US Pork Exports Expected to Set New Record in 2013

US - An agricultural economist with the University of Missouri says the US pork industry could well set a new pork export record in 2013, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 19 February 2013
clock icon 3 minute read

Despite the second highest hog prices ever in 2012, record high feed costs resulted in average losses of about 12 dollars per hog last year in the United States.

Dr Ron Plain, an agricultural economics professor with the University of Missouri, says while we've seen a drop in overall per capita meat consumption in the US and domestic meat consumption is expected to fall to its lowest level since 1991 this year, meat exports are expected to remain strong.

Dr Ron Plain- University of Missouri

2012 was a good year for US pork exports.

We set a record on tonnage exported for the second year in a row. In fact, for most meats.

Chicken exports were also record high in 2012 as were turkey exports.

Beef exports were down a bit from 2011 levels and we're fairly optimistic about good numbers again in 2013.

In general the world's economic growth is pretty good.

We're not doing so well here in the United States but economic growth elsewhere puts more money in consumers' pockets which makes it easier and more affordable to import meat.

The other key thing is the value of the US dollar has been weak and that's a positive for US exports so we expect a fairly good chance of new record exports in pork here this year, probably going to see less beef exported out of the United States in 2013 because we've got a very tight beef supply.

Dr Plain notes total meat supplies are down in response to these high feed costs so across the board we're looking for higher prices for pork, beef and poultry which is certainly positive for hog producers.

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