Peaking too soon? The US economic outlook for 2018

Dustin Baker, National Pork Producers Council, discusses the current economic outlook in the US pig industry and provides his predictions for the coming months
calendar icon 27 June 2018
clock icon 3 minute read

After his presentation at World Pork Expo 2018, The Pig Site spoke to Dustin Baker about his NPPC economic update and asked him to share his predictions for 2018.

Can you explain more about what you just presented at World Pork Expo 2018?

I provided an update on the state of the industry here in the United States, and it's a pretty interesting time to be involved in the American pork industry. We are looking at record production in 2018, about 4.6% higher than a year ago, so we’ll be producing about 26.7 billion pounds of product for consumers it is here in the US and worldwide.

It's a pretty fun time to be a part of the industry but certainly there are some headwinds coming our way. We typically see a peak in prices in the summer and so we are approaching that right now before we really get to see some of the suppliers come in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Can you provide us with an outlook for the rest of 2018?

The outlook is constantly changing; certainly in the retaliatory tariffs we have seen from China and Mexico and have had an impact on the future of our pigs. So it's making it a little bit foggy to give a clear outlook.

Certainly, we will see a peak in import prices coming in the summer but will also see some red ink come the fourth quarter of 2018, and probably the first quarter 2019. But we have some big production coming our way and we also have some new packing plants coming online, so as long as those plants open on time and get ramped up to full production, I think the second half of 2019, we’ll be much more advantageous in our position.

The Pig Site

Emily Houghton

Editor, The Pig Site

Emily Houghton is a Zoology graduate from Cardiff University and was the editor of The Pig Site from October 2017 to May 2020. Emily has worked in livestock husbandry, and has written, conducted and assisted with research projects regarding the synthesis of welfare and productivity of free-range food species.

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