It is notable that U.S. pork imports have increased more than 5 percent in the first 4 months of 2014 compared with the same period last year.

In April, pork imports were almost 14 percent higher than a year ago.

It is likely that high U.S. pork prices—in an environment of PEDv-reduced supplies—are attracting increased shipments from abroad. While U.S. imports from Denmark have increased almost 24 percent, April import data, in particular, show increased shipments from countries whose pork products are not typically competitive in the U.S. due to their high production costs; there were larger imports from the United Kingdom (+32 percent), Ireland (+24 percent), Germany (+41 percent), Hungary (+73 percent), Spain (+67 percent), and Italy (+20 percent).

Pork imports as a proportion of disappearance in the second quarter were about 5 percent compared with 4.6 percent a year ago, indicating a fairly low level of imports, even under the current rather extraordinary market conditions.

For the second quarter of 2014, U.S. pork imports are expected to be 230 million pounds, almost 10 percent above the same period a year ago. For 2014, imports are expected to be 922 million pounds, about 5 percent higher than last year.