USDA predicts lower pork imports for 2009

13% decline is forecasted

In its latest annual review of Livestock & Poultry: World Markets and Trade, the US Department of Agriculture forecasts a 13% decline in global imports of pork this year, with less sold to eight of the top 10 importing countries, as well as lower import volumes for other meats.

Less pork will be imported mainly due to a combination of prohibitively costly Russian out-of-quota tariffs, Ukraine’s worsening economic conditions with currency devaluation and greater Chinese pigmeat production, it indicates. These three countries account for over 20% of world demand, but nearly 80% of the year-to-year drop in imported amounts.

Available at, the report suggests a 2% growth rate for global pork production in 2009 as expansion in China more than compensates for lower output elsewhere.   A stronger Chinese economy in the latter half of 2009 is expected to spur consumption and more than offset a drop in Russian demand.

Canadian production is shown higher this year because of higher slaughter rates, although live exports slip lower and herd downsizing continues. In the USA, reductions both in the domestic herd and of Canadian live swine imports are predicted to contribute to lower production.

The amount produced in Brazil is suggested to be constrained by the credit crunch and by a reduced import demand from Russia. 

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