For nearly two decades, the trend in
The question is, will that momentum continue? USDA and the U.S. Meat Export Federation both predict it will.
Last month, USDA released its beef and pork trade outlook for 2008 through 2017, and USMEF added its perspectives. It’s worth noting that USDA’s 10-year outlook is based on what would be expected to happen under “a continuation of current farm legislation and specific assumptions about external conditions.” Also, USDA’s data is based on carcass weight equivalent and does not include variety meats.
So let’s take a look at what could unfold.
Despite forecasted production declines in 2009, 2010 and 2011, USDA expects pork exports to continue to grow steadily. Strong and growing pork demand across the globe and a weak U.S. dollar will support export sales.
USDA originally projected
USMEF outlines a slightly more optimistic export outlook beyond 2008 than USDA’s. It looks for 4 percent to 5 percent annual gains from 2009 to 2014. Daley believes the same factors that have led to the improved 2008 outlook will drive export gains in the next six years. USMEF’s projection assumes that the South Korea/United States free-trade agreement will be approved in 2009 and that exports to
USDA forecasts 39 percent growth in U.S. pork exports during the next 10 years, or an additional 536,000 metric tons (1.18 billion pounds), reaching a total of 1.9 million metric tons (nearly 4.2 billion pounds) in 2017. That compares to 2007, estimated at 3 billion pounds.
Of course, the
The other top destinations for Brazilian pork in 2007 included
The one-two punch of a strong Canadian dollar and high input costs will continue to limit Canadian pork production and pork exports.
European Union — E.U. exports also have been revised downward, showing a 10 percent drop in 2008 (totaling 1,147,000 metric tons or about 2.5 billion pounds). Those exports are not expected to surpass volumes posted in 2006 until 2016. In all, the E.U.’s export volumes for 2016 are pegged to be 1,281,000 metric tons (2.82 billion pounds), down from last year’s estimate of 1,617,000 metric tons (3.56 billion pounds).
According to Daley, that decline reflects an expected contraction in E.U. pork production. The European Commission’s reintroduction of export subsidies for chilled and frozen pork exports in November 2007 is one sign of the tough times facing E.U. pork producers. High feed and input costs combined with environmental and animal housing regulations have led to negative returns in the industry.
The E.U. has historically been the world’s largest pork exporter, but the combination of higher production costs and increased domestic demand — partially due to adding new member states — has toned down export forecasts from both USDA and the European Commission. USDA now shows
Of course, one never knows what hiccups might erupt with overseas buyers, and these predictions are based on a handful of assumptions that could change direction in the years ahead. But it’s fairly safe to say that the inroads that