January 9, 2020


November US pork exports hit record high thanks to China purchases


The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported 259,814 tonnes of total pork exports in November, up 26% compared to the year before thanks to high demand from China to supplement a meat shortage caused by the African swine fever (ASF) outbreak, reported Reuters.


According to USDA data, sales to China increased 589% compared to one year ago, hitting 78,776 tonnes. 35% from this total was accounted to frozen swine carcasses. The data also showed exports to China was up 134% to 472,811 tonnes between January to November. 


The ASF outbreak has cut China's swine herd by more than half, and the country has approved additional sources of meat globally to meet surging demand for meat. Europe and Brazil have also benefited from China's meat purchases, which have roiled global meat markets.


A retaliatory tariff on US pork imports by China still remains, which benefits Europe and South America exporters. Analysts however, anticipate US exports to China will surge higher this year as China continues to import meat to supplement declining domestic supplies.


The Phase 1 US-China trade deal is set to be signed on January 15, 2020, said US President Donald Trump. The deal includes a commitment by China to purchase additional US agricultural products. The exact details of the trade deal were not made public.


On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), February lean hog futures closed lower by 0.200 cent at 69.025 cents per pound. February live cattle futures also fell 0.175 cent to 126.350 cents per pound. March feeder cattle futures were brighter, up 1.400 cents to 146.525 cents per pound. 


-      Reuters