European pork shortage may be U.S. export opportunity

The ballyhooed shortage of pork anticipated in Europe may create opportunities for U.S. pork producers. Only a small amount of U.S. pork winds up in Europe, but Erin Borror, and economist for the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), says U.S. pork competes with Europe in some important export markets. Any decline in Europe’s ability to serve those markets could further expand exports of U.S. pork.

“There are large ramifications for what happens in Europe, because they are the second largest producer in the world following China, and they’re also the largest pork exporter, right there with the U.S.,” said Borror, in an interview provided to Brownfield Ag News by the USMEF.

The U.S. and European Union share such markets as Russia, China, Japan and Korea.

Borror says that if the European Union produces, for instance, three percent less pork, it would still be a strong exporter and a reliable domestic pork supplier.

“But it will open up around 600,000 tons of pork that would not be exported from Europe,” said Borror.

Europe’s declining sow numbers resulted in a recent warning to consumers from Great Britain’s National Pig Association that Europe may see a shortage of pork in 2013. Rising feed costs and new animal welfare regulations could make the situation worse.

AUDIO: Erin Borror (1 min. MP3)

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