Global pork production for 2013 is revised upward 2.7 million tons to a record 107.4 million tons on expected lower feed prices, according to the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service revised Livestock Report. Pork exports are reduced 90,000 tons to 7.2 million on downward revisions to the EU, the United States, and Brazil
United States : Production is raised 229,000 tons to 10.7 million largely on expected lower feed grain prices and more slaughter. Slaughter hog supply is greater because of smaller declines to the swine breeding herd and a larger pig crop, as producers weathered 2012 high feed grain prices. Adding to hog supplies, swine imports are raised 100,000 head to 5.6 million with expectations that a more normal corn crop will boost demand for Canadian feeder pigs. Exports are lowered 84,000 tons to 2.4 million as lower sales to Russia and soft Japanese demand offset greater exports to Mexico and Canada. Swine exports, which consist almost entirely of breeding stock, are raised 20,000 head to 60,000 due to growing demand from China, Mexico, and Russia. A recent protocol with the EU now allows U.S. hogs to transit through to Russia.
China: Production is raised by 1.8 million tons to a record 53.8 million mainly on greater slaughter hog supplies and heavier carcass weights. The pig crop is raised 3 percent due to better disease management practices which limited losses during the winter season. The government's decision to extend sow production subsidies through June is expected to help boost pig production. Imports are lowered 115,000 tons to 700,000 on higher domestic production and lower pork prices. Swine exports are raised 90,000 head to 1.7 million as lower priced hogs meet stronger demand from Hong Kong and Macau.
EU: Pork production is lowered 75,000 tons to 22.6 million due to a lower pig crop resulting from the newly implemented sow housing requirements. Exports are lowered 115,000 tons to 2.3 million despite market opportunities because of tight exportable supplies
Brazil: Production is raised 40,000 tons to 3.4 million on improved hog prices and more stable feed costs from record soybean and corn crops. However, exports are lowered 25,000 tons to 620,000 because of Ukraine's restrictions on imports from Brazil, which was their top market last year. Sales will likely be re-directed to other markets like Russia, Angola, Georgia, and Moldova. Russia's elimination of preferential tariff rates is not expected to limit sales.
Canada: Production is raised 20,000 tons to 1.8 million as the hog sector copes with high feed costs and the producers' fragile financial situations. Most remained in business and continued to produce as usual on expectations of improved hog prices. Consequentially, sow beginning were higher and the pig crop is raised 350,000 head to 28.2 million. Swine exports are raised 100,000 head to 5.7 million as U.S. demand for feeder pigs is expected to remain strong. Pork exports are boosted 35,000 tons to 1.2 million on greater shipments to Mexico and Russia. New Russian ractopamine restrictions may slow sales in the near term and keep them below 2012 levels
Russia: Production is up 75,000 tons to 2.2 million despite higher feed prices. The hog industry continues to expand, aided by government support for large, modern facilities. However, imports are also raised 80,000 tons to 1.1 million, given their competitive prices. Trade restrictions on U.S. pork will mean more market share available for other suppliers. Swine imports are cut by more than half to 250,000 head with ongoing restrictions on EU swine due to the Schmallenberg virus (a ruminant disease).
Japan: Production is raised 40,000 tons to 1.3 million on lower expected feed grain prices. The pig crop is revised upward 4 percent as the national sow inventory is rebuilt, particularly in the Miyazaki prefecture (a major hog producing region that was hard hit by an outbreak of Foot-and-Mouth-Disease (FMD) several years ago). Imports are lowered 30,000 tons to 1.2 million based on the depreciation of the yen, larger domestic supplies, greater consumption of U.S. beef due to improved market access, and increased competition from poultry meat because of competitive prices.
Mexico: Production is forecast 60,000 tons higher at 1.3 million, as more sows were retained last year. However, imports are also raised 80,000 tons to a record 770,000 based on competitive import prices and strong demand, as pork substitutes for higher-priced beef. Swine imports are doubled as industry expansion results in strong breeding stock demand
South Korea: Production is raised 190,000 tons to a record 1.2 million. The swine industry recovery following the 2011 FMD outbreak resulted in an oversupply of hogs. In an attempt to stop prices from falling below production costs, the government procured 64,000 head in the first 2 months of 2013. Producer groups and the government have also agreed to:
1. a voluntary 20 percent reduction in sow stocks with failure to comply resulting in reduced government support,
2. reduced slaughter weights,
3. an increase in the ratio of domestic to imported pork in processed meat and
4. a national bacon sale for 2 weeks in March to encourage consumption.
As a result of these large domestic supplies, consumption is up to record levels while imports are slashed 105,000 tons to 400,000
Ukraine: Production is lowered 20,000 tons to 600,000. However, imports are unchanged at 200,000 tons. A ban on imports from Brazil (Ukraine's largest supplier) is expected to keep trade below record 2012 levels.