Tag Archives: Pork

U.S. pork producers don’t seem optimistic about a potential trade deal with the European Union coming together anytime soon. Nick Giordano is the Vice President of Global Government Affairs for the National Pork Producers Council.

Giordano tells Politico that he’s “very skeptical” that the two sides will even reach a mini agreement in the weeks ahead. He feels the real goal should be a comprehensive trade pact covering all sectors of agriculture. “It’s outrageous that a market of that size, with that level of income, is so closed to us,” Giordano says. “They’re stealing jobs from us because of their protectionism and that’s unacceptable.”

The VP says there will be widespread support in the U.S. agriculture community for the Trump Administration to take tough action against the EU if there are no concessions regarding a more open EU market. Meantime, U.S. cattlemen might annually sell $4 billion worth of beef to China within the next five years.

Kent Baucus, Senior Director of International Affairs with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, says the Phase One trade deal and the meat shortage in China cause by African Swine Fever should drive U.S. beef exports higher. “We haven’t even scratched the surface on the Chinese market,” he says. “There is a tremendous amount of unmet protein demand in China.

Hormel Foods is getting rid of ractopamine, a growth drug banned by China, from its hog supply. Hormel is joining rival companies like Tyson Foods and JBS in looking to make more meat sales to China, which is in the middle of wrestling with a large shortage of pork.

Hormel isn’t going to accept hogs that have been fed or otherwise exposed to ractopamine after April first. Tyson Foods and JBS USA took that step last year. The companies’ moves ramped up the competition for the increased pork demand from China, where the outbreak of African Swine Fever has decimated their herds.

In a statement announcing the move, Hormel says, “We have been actively monitoring the changing global market dynamics for several years and believe this decision will further position us to meet growing international demand.” Ractopamine is used in some countries to raise leaner pigs, but China doesn’t allow its use or tolerate residues in its imported meats. The European Union also bans ractopamine.

John Csukker of Columbus, Nebraska was elected as President of the Nebraska Pork Producers Association (NPPA) at their Annual Meeting held on February 12, 2020 at the Embassy Suites in Lincoln, Nebraska. Joining Csukker on NPPA’s leadership team are President-Elect, Shana Beattie of Sumner, Vice President, Jared Lierman of Beemer and newly elected Directors Chad Johnson of Norfolk, Mark Wright of Fremont, Kyle Baade of Plymouth and Ryan Preister of Humphrey, Nebraska. Karen Grant of Meadow Grove will serve as 1 st Alternate Director and Jennifer Ruby of Howells will serve 2 nd Alternate Director.

Retiring Directors are Duane Miller of Davenport, Ron Browning of Fremont, Kevin Peterson of Osceola and Tim Chancellor of Broken Bow, Nebraska.

Csukker is the Environmental Senior Services Manager for the Great Plains Region for The Maschhoffs. John is responsible for the environmental permitting and compliance for The Maschhoffs company-owned farms as well as independent pork production partners in Nebraska, Missouri, and Wyoming. John traveled to Mexico while participating in the Pork Leadership Institute (PLI), a comprehensive training program conducted jointly by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and the National Pork Board (NPB) designed to develop future leaders for the U.S. pork industry. He has represented Nebraska’s pork producers in Washington, D.C., served as an NPB and NPPC Forum Delegate. He is a member of NPPC’s Environmental Policy Committee and was part of the Governors trade mission to Shanghai and Hong Kong China.

First elected to the NPPA Board of Directors in 2015, John said in accepting the NPPA Presidency, “I want to continue the success of this organization and the hard-working individuals we represent. Let me hear your ideas, get your feedback and together we will find out more ways our Association can serve the pork producers of Nebraska better”.

U.S. pork exports posted new volume and value records in 2019, reaching nearly $7 billion, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Exports of U.S. beef were below the previous year’s record levels, while lamb export volume was the second largest on record.

Pork exports soared to 282,145 metric tons (mt) in December, up 34% year-over-year and surpassing the previous high (set in November 2019) by 9%. Export value was $760 million, up a remarkable 44% from a year ago and breaking the previous record (also from November 2019) by 7%. These results pushed 2019 exports 10% above the previous year in volume (2.67 million mt) and 9% higher in value ($6.95 billion), breaking previous records for both volume (2.45 million mt in 2017) and value ($6.65 billion in 2014).

Pork export value per head slaughtered was $66.70 in December, nearly one-third higher than a year ago and the highest monthly average since 2014. For 2019, per-head value averaged $53.51, up 4% year-over-year. The percentage of pork production exported also set new records in December, as exports accounted for 32.1% of total pork production and 29.3% for muscle cuts only, up substantially from a year ago (26.1% and 23.6%, respectively). In 2019, exports accounted for 26.9% of total pork production, up from 25.7% and the highest since 2012. For muscle cuts only, the ratio was 23.6%, up from 22.5% in 2018.

December beef exports totaled 111,315 mt, down 1% from a year ago, valued at $682 million (down 3%). 2019 exports totaled 1.32 million mt, 2.5% below the previous year’s record volume. After increasing by more than $1 billion in 2018, beef export value eased by 3% to $8.1 billion.

Beef export value per head of fed slaughter was $321.21 in December, down 9% from a year ago. The 2019 average was $309.75, down 4%. December exports accounted for 14.3% of total beef production and 11.6% for muscle cuts only, down from 15.5% and 12.6%, respectively, a year ago. 2019 exports accounted for 14.1% of total beef production and 11.4% for muscle cuts, down from the previous year’s record-high percentages (14.6% and 12.1%, respectively).

December pork demand surges in China/Hong Kong; exports to Mexico rebound

Following a record performance in November, China/Hong Kong’s demand for U.S. pork climbed even higher in December at 110,876 mt – more than quadruple the year-ago volume – while value was nearly six times higher at $274.9 million. For 2019, pork exports to China/Hong Kong were up 89% to 665,665 mt, valued at $1.45 billion (up 71%). China/Hong Kong’s pork imports from all suppliers in 2019 reached a record 3.45 million mt, up 40% year-over-year, and accelerated into December after China’s hog prices peaked in November.

“Despite retaliatory duties and the other barriers U.S. pork faces in China, exports to the China/Hong Kong region closed 2019 with tremendous momentum,” said Dan Halstrom, USMEF President and CEO. “We look forward to continued success in 2020, especially if U.S.-China trade relations continue to trend in a positive direction. The coronavirus situation is certainly concerning and disruptive, but it hasn’t dampened our enthusiasm for the potential this market holds for U.S. red meat.”

Pork exports to Mexico also closed 2019 on a high note as December volume reached 66,181 mt, up 10% from a year ago, and export value surged 46% to $137.6 million, the highest in two years. Saddled by Mexico’s retaliatory duties for the first five months of the year, 2019 exports to Mexico were down 9% from a year ago in volume at 708,133 mt, but recovered to finish just 2% lower in value at $1.28 billion.

December pork exports to leading value market Japan trailed the previous year by 3% in volume at 29,323 mt, but value increased 3% to $121.6 million. Full-year exports to Japan were down 6% from a year ago in both volume (369,891 mt) and value ($1.52 billion). Much of this decline was ground seasoned pork, which fell by $86 million due to a wide tariff rate disadvantage compared to European and Canadian product. Beginning Jan. 1, Japan’s tariff rates on U.S. pork and pork products were lowered to match those imposed on major competitors, with the rate for U.S. ground seasoned pork falling from 20 to 13.3%.

Other 2019 highlights for U.S. pork exports include:

  • Led by substantial growth in Chile and Peru and an increase in shipments to mainstay market Colombia, exports to South America set new records in both volume (152,125 mt, up 12% year-over-year) and value ($382.3 million, up 16%).
  • Strong growth in Panama, Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Rica drove pork exports to Central America to new record highs in volume (98,182 mt, up 14% from a year ago) and value ($239.5 million, up 19%).
  • In Oceania, a key destination for U.S. hams and other muscle cuts used for further processing, strong demand in both Australia and New Zealand pushed exports 31% above the previous year in volume (116,113 mt) and 34% higher in value ($339.2 million), setting new records.
  • Exports to Canada increased 4% from a year ago in volume (214,703 mt, the largest since 2013) and were 5% higher in value ($801.7 million, the highest since 2014).
  • Exports to South Korea slowed from the 2018 records, with volume down 14% to 207,650 mt and value falling 12% to $593 million. But U.S. share of Korea’s imports increased modestly to 36%, as overall import volume also declined from 2018.

New beef export records for Korea and Taiwan; strong year for beef variety meat

The decline in U.S. beef exports from the record levels of 2018 was partially attributable to lower shipments to Japan, which were down 6% in both volume (311,146 mt) and value ($1.95 billion). Similar to pork, Japan’s tariff rates for U.S. beef were lowered on Jan. 1 to match those of major competitors, with rate for U.S. beef muscle cuts dropping from 38.5 to 26.6%. Another tariff rate cut will come April 1, when the Japanese fiscal year begins. December exports to Japan were slightly above year-ago levels in both volume (24,056 mt) and value ($144.6 million).

“It was gratifying to see beef exports to Japan perform so well in December, given that the first tariff rate cut was pending and set to take effect Jan. 1,” Halstrom observed. “Buyers in Japan have been waiting a very long time for tariff relief and have already responded enthusiastically. We look forward to solid growth in 2020 and beyond.”

South Korea made a strong push to become the leading value market for U.S. beef in 2019, finishing a close second to Japan at a record $1.84 billion (up 5% from a year ago). Korea was also the second largest volume market for U.S. beef at 255,758 mt (up 7%, also a new record). The United States captured a larger share of Korea’s chilled beef imports in 2019 at 62%, up from 58% the previous year. U.S. beef accounted for 51.5% of Korea’s total beef and beef variety meat imports and more than one-third of Korea’s total beef consumption.

“U.S. beef is achieving remarkable success in Korea’s traditional retail and foodservice sectors and is well-positioned to capitalize on growth in e-commerce, the institutional sector and other emerging sales channels,” Halstrom said. “As U.S. beef moves steadily toward duty-free status in Korea, it becomes accessible and affordable for a wider range of customers whose appetite for U.S. beef continues to grow. We are seeing many new menu concepts in this dynamic market and continued excitement about U.S. beef.”

Beef exports to Taiwan were record-large for the fourth consecutive year in 2019, climbing 6% from a year ago in volume (63,538 mt) and 3% in value ($567.1 million). This growth is also driven by success at foodservice and retail as Taiwan continues to embrace alternative cuts and U.S. beef is underpinning overall consumption growth. The United States dominates Taiwan’s chilled beef market, capturing approximately 75% of its chilled imports – the highest share of any Asian destination.

Other 2019 highlights for U.S. beef exports include:

  • In Mexico, the third largest market for U.S. beef behind Japan and Korea, export value increased 5% from a year ago to $1.1 billion despite a 1% decline in volume (236,707 mt). This was largely due to strong demand for beef variety meat, especially tripe. Variety meat exports to Mexico increased 4% year-over-year in volume (100,645 mt) and surged 21% in value to $276.9 million. This included $111.7 million in tripe exports, up 30% from a year ago.
  • The largest decline in U.S. beef exports in 2019 was to China/Hong Kong (103,220 mt, down 21%, with value down 19% to $830 million). Retaliatory duties and other restrictions limited U.S. exports to China, but the Phase One trade agreement includes significant breakthroughs in market access that should allow a much larger share of U.S. beef production to be eligible for China. Although China’s beef demand has recently slowed, its overall beef imports reached a staggering $8.4 billion in 2019, a 70% increase over the 2018 record.
  • Led by strong demand in Indonesia, beef exports to the ASEAN region increased 23% from a year ago in volume (60,790 mt) and were 8% higher in value ($295.5 million). Exports to Indonesia reached record heights, climbing 67% from a year ago in volume (23,591 mt) and 37% higher in value ($85.1 million). This included a near doubling of variety meat volume (to 12,688 mt) along with substantial growth in muscle cuts.
  • Despite a slowdown in December, exports to the Dominican Republic easily surpassed the previous year’s record in both volume (8,034 mt, up 18%) and value ($65.8 million, up 13%).
  • Fueled by outstanding demand in Panama, exports to Central America increased 3% from a year ago in volume (15,156 mt) and 7% in value ($86 million). Exports to Panama surged 33% to 2,278 mt valued at $14.7 million (up 30%).
  • Mexico was one of several markets driving strong demand for U.S. beef variety meat in 2019. Global variety exports increased 4% from a year ago in volume (322,529 mt) and 9% in value ($972.9 million). Exports to Japan, which largely consist of tongues and skirts, totaled 62,948 mt, up 19% from a year ago, valued at $387 million (up 13%). Prospects for further growth are very strong in Japan, with beef from cattle of all ages now eligible and lower tariff rates under the U.S.-Japan trade agreement (Japan’s tariff rate for U.S. tongues will phase to zero by 2028 and for other variety meat by 2030). Egypt, the largest destination for U.S. beef livers, saw a 3% increase in variety meat volume (63,449 mt) while export value climbed 15% to $73.7 million. Beef variety meat exports also posted substantial year-over-year gains in Indonesia, the Dominican Republic, Chile, Angola, Gabon, Trinidad and Tobago, Mozambique and Nicaragua.

Lamb export volume largest since 2011

December exports of U.S. lamb were 1,225 mt, up 9% from a year ago, while value jumped 24% to $2.36 million. For 2019, lamb export volume increased 22% from a year ago to 15,732 mt, valued at $26.1 million (up 12%). Led by strong demand in Mexico, export volume was the second highest on record behind 2011 and export value was the highest since 2014. In addition to Mexico, strong growth markets included Trinidad and Tobago, Panama, Guatemala and the Philippines.

Complete January-November export results for U.S. beef, pork and lamb are available from USMEF’s statistics Web page.

Monthly charts for U.S. pork and beef exports are also available online.

If you have questions, please contact Joe Schuele at jschuele@usmef.org or call 303-547-0030.

NOTES:

  • Export statistics refer to both muscle cuts and variety meat, unless otherwise noted.
  • One metric ton (mt) = 2,204.622 pounds.
  • U.S. pork currently faces retaliatory duties in China. China’s duty rate on frozen pork muscle cuts and variety meat increased from 12 to 37% in April 2018, from 37 to 62% in July 2018 and from 62 to 72% on Sept. 1, 2019. (The rate was reduced to 68% on Jan. 1, 2020, when China cut its most-favored-nation rate from 12 to 8%.) Mexico’s duty rate on pork muscle cuts increased from zero to 10% in June 2018 and jumped to 20% the following month. Beginning in June 2018, Mexico also imposed a 15% duty on sausages and a 20% duty on some prepared hams. Mexico’s duties were removed in May 2019 but were in effect for much of the period reported above.
  • U.S. beef faces retaliatory duties in China. China’s duty rate on beef muscle cuts and variety meats increased from 12 to 37% in July 2018 and from 37 to 47% on Sept. 1, 2019. Canada imposed a 10% duty in July 2018 that applied to HS 160250 cooked/prepared beef products. Canada’s duty was removed in May 2019 but was in effect for much of the period reported above

DES MOINES, IOWA – Jan. 29, 2020 – The National Pork Board announced today more than 2 million servings of pork have been donated in the last two months by pig farmers working together to help fight food insecurity in their local communities. The donations – made through the national Hams Across America effort – showcase the pork industry’s commitment to the We CareSM ethical principles, including a focus on community.

“Giving back to our communities is an important part of who we are,” said David Newman, president of the National Pork Board and a pig farmer representing Arkansas. “Our Hams Across America program gives me and other pig farmers another way to live out the We Care ethical principles, but my favorite part is getting to share our love of the food we produce with neighbors in need.”

The Hams Across America program helps overcome food insecurity, especially in rural areas where pig farmers farm and live. In November, the Oklahoma Pork Council kicked off the #GiveAHam challenge, a grassroots effort that encourages farmers to pay it forward with pork donations to local food pantries and to challenge colleagues and others in their communities to do the same. The challenge was supported by a record number of participants, with more than 200 individuals and businesses contributing time, resources and pork to the nationwide effort.

In its fourth year, the Hams Across America campaign also received strong support from Smithfield Foods, Prairie Fresh® Pork and JBS USA Pork. These companies provided more than 170,000 pounds of pork to food banks across the country.

During the campaign, the National Pork Board partnered with nine YouTube creators who paid it forward with pork by donating over 25,000 servings to their communities. The YouTube campaign engaged nearly 6 million viewers.

“It was amazing to see how these creators paid it forward with pork and shared stories of pig farmers’ commitment to our communities,” Newman said. “Partnering with influencers to share our pork story has been an important piece of our digital strategy. This is especially important since YouTube reaches 95% of the Gen Zers that we need to start building relationships with.”

The Hams Across America campaign is a nationwide effort organized and managed by the National Pork Board, the National Pork Producers Council, state pork associations and U.S. pig farmers. For more information on pig farmers’ commitment to giving back to their communities, visit porkcares.org.

DES MOINES, IOWA  – The National Pork Board has announced senior leadership changes to better implement a new Pork Checkoff vision, structure and operating plan supported by its board of directors – the first major restructuring in nearly 20 years.

The new plan was developed with grassroots input from across the industry, including more than 1,000 pork producers, and focuses on two overarching goals, to build trust and to add value. To deliver on these goals and the expectations of pork industry leaders for nimbleness and forward-thinking, the National Pork Board has restructured staff teams and elevated high performers to lead them.

“We have our marching orders – to move at the speed of business and to be consumer-focused, producer-led. That is how we will keep pork relevant and competitive,” said Bill Even, National Pork Board CEO. “These changes align highly capable leaders and staff with the work that must be done, such as making continuous improvement through We CareSM and protecting swine health from foreign animal disease.”

Highlights of the changes include:

  • Jerry Flint, who has served as vice president of outreach and engagement for the National Pork Board since August 2019, is assuming the role of chief operations officer. Prior to joining the Pork Board, Flint held leadership roles at Corteva Agriscience and Monsanto. The respected agriculture leader will apply his ability to motivate teams and drive accountability in Pork Board operations.
  • John Johnson is transitioning to consultant status as of Feb. 14 after more than 10 years serving the National Pork Board as vice president of strategic administration and as chief operations officer. In his new capacity, Johnson will conduct outreach in the Northeast about pork farmers’ commitment to the We CareSM ethical principles.
  • Jarrod Sutton, the previous vice president of domestic marketing, is now senior vice president of strategy and innovation. The 20-year Pork Board veteran has served the industry in retail marketing, channel marketing and social responsibility roles. In his new position, Sutton’s team will help the Pork Board rise to the challenge of being more future-focused, insight-driven and responsive to customers.
  • Angie Krieger has been promoted to vice president of domestic marketing after nearly three years with the National Pork Board in packer relations and channel outreach roles. Krieger joined the Pork Board from JBS and had previously spent 14 years at Cargill. As a result, she is very in tune with the supply chain and is passionate about leading her team to add value for pork producers.
  • Brett Kaysen, is the new vice president of sustainability. Kaysen joined the National Pork Board nearly two years ago from Zoetis. As a pig farmer who also spent more than 16 years teaching at Colorado State University, Kaysen is uniquely qualified to lead his team of experts in public health, environment and animal welfare to ensure broad adoption of the We CareSM ethical principles.
  • Dave Pyburn, DVM, as the National Pork Board’s chief veterinarian, will lead a team of veterinarians and swine production experts. Pyburn rejoined the Pork Board in 2013 after 13 years as the senior veterinary medical officer at USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. This new focus will allow Pyburn to leverage his experience and relationships to help protect the U.S. pork industry from foreign animal disease.
  • Jill Criss is now senior vice president of human resources and administration. Criss has provided human resources/operations services and leadership to the National Pork Board for more than 16 years. Criss will be on the front lines of hiring and training the high-quality talent needed to implement the new strategic plan as well as ensuring internal administrative processes are streamlined for success.

“In short, we’re ready and excited to be starting 2020 and the new decade with a new vision, a few clear priorities and the resources – people, budget and organizational structure – to accomplish them,” Even said.

China’s purchases of U.S. pork and soybeans rebounded in November and December, ahead of today’s (Wednesday’s) signing of the phase one trade agreement between the two nations.

Reuters reports that Chinese agricultural imports from the United States were at 14.1 billion yuan, or $2 billion, in December. A Chinese customs spokesperson says the increase in imports of soybeans and pork comes as “positive U.S.-China trade sentiment has boosted companies’ confidence in December.” African swine fever has severely reduced China’s hog herd, the world’s largest producer and consumer of pork.

China has since increased exports of U.S. pork to record levels. Pork exports to China and Hong Kong were up 49 percent in value at $1.18 billion from January to November 2019. Consumer prices for pork in China nearly doubled since the initial outbreak of African swine fever, and efforts to rebuild the hog herd in China are slow going. China has also released frozen pork from state-owned reserves to help ease the situation for consumers.