Pork exports running behind year-ago levels

Pork export volumes for the first quarter of 2022 have been on a steady decline from year-ago levels, and a livestock economist says it’s largely due to China. University of Missouri’s Scott Brown.  “In January we were 96-million pounds below a year ago,” he says.  “In February we were down 202-million pounds and this month we’re down 386-million pounds.  It’s not going in the right direction.”

Brown says if last month’s weekly sales reports are any indication of what happens in April, exports could decline even further. He tells Brownfield China continues its recovery from African swine fever and has boosted pork production.  “There seems to be less of an appetite of US pork headed to China,” he says.  “Don’t forget we’re also running a tariff on our product going into China as well.”

He says rising prices in the US could also be a factor.  “We’re certainly running higher prices at consumers than the rest of the world,” he says.  “And competing products might look more attractive than they have for a while.” And with tightening domestic supplies, Brown says that could push prices higher, further slowing global demand for US pork.

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