The USDA has increased its 2020 US pork production forecast to around 13.1m tonnes, as a result of the high number of slaughter pigs available in January and early February, at heavier weights.
Domestic poultry production is expected to be strong too, which will keep US pork consumption flat. Overall, US pork exports in 2020 are now forecast to increase by more than 17% compared with 2019.
US pig prices this year are expected, on average, to be slightly above those in 2019, although prices are forecast below year earlier levels in the upcoming second quarter of the year. This time last year, prices spiked on the back of optimistic Chinese demand expectations.
“Nonetheless, important demand increases coming from China are anticipated to support the overall increase,” AHDB lead analyst Duncan Wyatt said.
“China recently increased its purchases of US pork products, mainly frozen carcases. In part, this is thought to be to re-employ some of the labour released from Chinese processing plants affected by reduced pig numbers.
“Until December when trade was interrupted, the UK had also been increasing its exports of frozen carcases to China, albeit from low levels.”