Jim Long Pork Commentary: US July net pork exports up 35.6 percent

Some positive news for the US pork industry is the increase in the pork exports and decrease in pork imports in July.

11 September 2019, at 10:56am

Some points:

  • China (including Hong Kong) at 112.67 million pounds was up significantly. A year ago July China/Hong Kong-US imports 23.48. Up 380 percent.
  • Mexico imported 150.75 million pounds in July. The highest month since last October. Up 18 percent from last July.

We need continued export growth. It’s good to see China's increased imports. Now that China's hog price has hit record highs. A true reflection of decreased supply, it is logical China will import more pork. We understand face to face trade talks between USA-China will be held in October. It would be nice for both countries to come to a common ground.

Gene Editing

I reference the MIT technology review article on gene editing in cattle published in August (2019), Gene-edited cattle have a major screwup in their DNA. It’s a wake-up call for all pushing to take gene editing oversight away from the US Food and Drug Administration. It seems in the race to expedite gene editing there could be serious implications.

How much do we want to risk consumer pork acceptance and demand with risky attempts at altering nature by gene editing and GMO’s?


Meat packers in Canada are asking for compensation from Federal Government due to China import meat ban. They are claiming $100 million in damages to date. This pales in comparison to the losses of production that have been suffered for many months from market damage due to China tariffs on US pork, lowering Canadian market hog prices because of related US basis prices.

The Canadian government should be matching the US government's compensation of $11 US per head to producers. Canadian producers have suffered at least the $11 that US producers are being compensated. Many Canadian packers own hogs; the compensation to all producers would also help packers in this way as well.

Even better: get market opened back up to China!

China Prices

Last week Average China Hog Market Price was 26.9 rmb/kg = $1.73 US liveweight. Highest price was in Henan Province at 32 rmb/kg = $2.06 US lb liveweight. There is no doubt China’s pork supply has fallen and will fall further.

This from South China Morning Post quoting Senior Analyst for Animal Protein at Rabobank Chenjun Pan: Given the situation, we can expect the price to continue to go up at the same time, consumption to go down.”

“This basic mechanism will help to slow down the ride in pork prices.”

In our opinion there will be increased imports of pork and all meats to China.

The US increase of pork to China/Hong Kong in July is an indicator of what’s coming. China’s hog price has close to doubled since 1 July. The need for imports continues to rise.

Greg Howard - VP of Strategic planning, Christensen Farm and Bob Kemp PhD PAg – Vice-President Genetic Programs and R&D, Genesus Inc
Greg Howard - VP of Strategic planning, Christensen Farm and Bob Kemp PhD PAg – Vice-President Genetic Programs and R&D, Genesus Inc

© Genesus

Global Mega Producers

Christensen Farms

Christensen Farms has again been recognised as a Global Mega Producer for 2019.

Headquartered in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, Christensen Farms is one of the largest, family-owned pork producers in the United States.

With nearly 1,000 employees and 1,500 contract partners, the company spans across the Midwest to include facilities in Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois and South Dakota.

They currently operate four feed mills, manage 145,000 sows on 44 farms, and oversee more than 350 nurseries and grow-finish sites.

The desire for a more integrated production model led Christensen Farms to become the largest shareholder of Triumph Food LLC.

Triumph Foods, LLC was organised in 2003 by a group of the largest US independent pork producers whose goal was to create a pork processing operation capable of recognising the benefits of an integrated business model. Today 487,200 sows are in production under the Triumph Foods brand. The company began processing operations in 2006, in St. Joseph, MO, currently with a processing capacity in excess of 6 million hogs per year

Triumph Foods also holds a 50 percent partnership in another primary pork processing plant, known as Seaboard Triumph Foods, LLC of Sioux City, Iowa. To support further pork processing for specialised items such as bacon and other premium products, Triumph Foods members own 50 percent of Daily’s Premium Meats.

Through key packer and partner relationships, Christensen Farms markets nearly 3 million hogs per year with increased traceability, quality assurance and pricing stability for their customers.