US pork exports break record

U.S. pork exports hit a record high in 2021, totaling $8.107 billion, up 5.1% year over year.

The main destinations? China, with 1,698 million dollars and a decrease of 25.6%, followed by Japan (1,694 million, +4.4%) and Mexico (1,675 million, 45.3 percent).

For the Department of Agriculture (USDA), live lean hog equivalent price forecasts rise by 51-52% in each quarter of 2022 due to a more limited than expected supply of pigs for slaughter at the beginning of the year and expectations of continued strong consumer demand for pork.

The USDA expects strong seasonal factors to amplify first-quarter gains, pushing hog prices through the fourth quarter of this year.

Quarterly pork export forecasts are lowered due to lower-than-expected December trade data and expectations of continued recovery of China’s pork sector from disease problems.

Total pork exports for 2022 are expected to be 6.8 billion pounds, about 3% less than last year’s exports.


African swine fever (ASF) is a highly contagious viral disease of pigs and wild boar for which there are no approved cures or vaccines available.

According to the company Darling Ingredients, African swine fever has become widespread in recent years in several Chinese, Vietnamese and Philippine provinces and has been reported in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand in the southeast. Asia and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Bhutan and India.

In April 2021, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) issued the “Work Plan for the Regional Prevention and Control of African Swine Fever and Other Major Animal Diseases (Trial)”, which divided the entire country in five regions (central-south, east, north, southwest and northwest).

Pig movement is restricted and African swine fever free zones have been created within a region. Only pigs from African swine fever free zones, breeding pigs and piglets are allowed to move out of their respective region.

Such restrictions on the movement of pigs from one region to another may affect the number of slaughters within certain regions and therefore reduce the volumes of raw material supplied to our locations that, within the same region, process blood and produce collagen from pig skins.

The outbreak of African swine fever in China during 2018 and 2019 and its subsequent spread around the world has had a significant effect on both global pork supply and pork prices.


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