Pork: Production in the USA falls surprisingl...

Production in the USA falls surprisingly strongly

Imago / Westend61
The USA will produce less pork this year than previously expected.
The USA will produce less pork this year than previously expected.

USA, Washington. After years of growth, pig production in the United States is getting a damper. The reasons are manifold.

In the first half of 2021, more pigs were slaughtered in the USA than in the same period of the previous year, which, however, was characterised by corona-related capacity bottlenecks in meat plants. But now the picture is changing. According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), slaughter volume in July was 13 percent lower than in the same month last year.

This significant decline surprised even the analysts from Washington, who then corrected the expected pork production for 2021 significantly downwards in their August forecast. The experts now expect production of 12.62 million tonnes; that would be 217,000 tonnes or 1.7 per cent less than in 2020 and the first decline in seven years. Other analysts, such as the large breeding company Genesus, expect an even higher decline in production due to increased sow slaughter and problems with Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS).

The USDA also lowered its export forecast for this year due to the lower supply. At 3.36 million tonnes, pork exports are still expected to be almost 2 per cent higher than in the record year 2020, but in June an increase of 3.7 per cent was still expected. Although US exports to the main customers Mexico with an increase of 22 per cent and to Japan with 7 per cent developed very dynamically in the first half of 2021, China including Hong Kong bought a good fifth less goods in the USA.

China imports less

In July, as much as 50 per cent less pork was delivered to the People's Republic than in the same month of the previous year, reinforcing the negative sales trend. The ministry explained that this was due to the increase in production there as well as high supply prices and the still heavier tariff burden in the USA compared to its competitors. The higher prices for pork also dampened domestic demand, which was already suffering from the consequences of the Corona pandemic. The USDA expects average per capita pork consumption to decline from 23.6 kg last year to 22.8 kg this year. According to the still very uncertain forecast for 2022, US pork production is then expected to increase by 1 per cent, while exports are expected to be about 1.5 per cent lower.

Source: fleischwirtschaft.de; AgE
USA USDA pork China


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