February 22, 2022

Exports Continue to Be A Bright Spot for U.S. Pork Sector

by James Mintert

Exports of U.S. pork to all destinations in 2021 declined modestly (3%) when compared to 2020, but export volume in 2021 was still the second largest on record. U.S. pork production declined 2% in 2021 to 27.7 billion pounds so pork exports, at just over 7 billion pounds, equated to 25% of U.S. pork production. Net pork exports, which account for the quantity of pork imported into the U.S., were the equivalent of 21% of U.S. pork production, somewhat lower than the 22% net export figure for 2020.

Although net exports fell below the prior year in 2021, the long-term transition of the U.S. pork sector into an export-oriented industry continues unabated. Twenty years ago, net exports of pork from the U.S. totaled just 3% of U.S. production. This stands in contrast with the last decade when net pork exports consistently exceeded 15% of U.S. production, breaking through the 20% barrier for the first time in 2020. When the pounds of pork exported are compared over time the result is even more astounding. In 2001 net pork exports from the U.S. were just a little over 600 million pounds. In 2020 net exports were more than 10 times that large, reaching 6.4 billion pounds before falling back to 5.9 billion pounds in 2021.

Who the U.S. exports pork to continues to shift over time. Exports to China, the world’s largest pork producer, fluctuate the most from one year to the next as production levels and economic conditions in China ebb and flow. As recently as 2017 and 2018, pork exports to China represented less than 10% of all U.S. pork exports. With African Swine Fever (ASF) devastating China’s pork sector in 2019 and 2020, imports of pork from the U.S. into China surged with China (mainland China and Hong Kong, combined) taking 17% and 29% of all U.S. pork exports in 2019 and 2020, respectively. China remained an important U.S. pork consumer in 2021 but did drop back to absorbing just 17% of U.S. pork exports as China’s domestic pork production rebounded. The biggest U.S. pork customer in 2021 was Mexico with shipments totaling 29% of all U.S. pork exports, up from 22% the year before.

The top 5 customers for U.S. pork in 2021 were 1) Mexico, 2) Japan, 3) China, 4) Canada and 5) South Korea. Looking ahead to the rest of 2022, it looks like U.S. export prospects will depend on economic strength in importing countries as well as what takes place concerning disease-related production disruptions. Long-term, the U.S. pork sector continues to be well-positioned to be a dominant pork exporter.




Prospects for Swine Feed Costs in 2023

November 1, 2022

Corn prices are 25% higher and soybean meal prices are 1% higher. Given that many of the supply and demand factors impacting the 2022 crop are going to persist way into 2023, what are the prospects for feed costs for farrow-to-finish and swine finishing production in the upcoming year?


Prospects for Swine Feed Costs in 2022

December 2, 2021

Given the uncertainty related to supply and demand, feed prices are likely to remain volatile during the 21/22 marketing year. This article examines trends in feed costs as well as the impact of corn and soybean meal prices on feed costs for farrow-to-finish and swine finishing operations.


Pork Belly Price Strength Leads the Way Among Pork Cuts

November 23, 2021

The pandemic disrupted food production, processing, distribution, and consumption across the board. As a result, dramatic shifts in price relationships have become commonplace. Examining changes in these price relationships can provide clues to shifting interest among consumers for food items, including various pork cuts.



Farming Together: Cultivating Relationships and Having the Cash to Bring in the Next Generation

Where do you begin if you’re looking to transfer your farm to the next generation? Before starting with a legal entity, it’s important to come together and establish common goals and a direction for where you picture your operation moving in the future. Our Farming Together workshop will help you begin discussions to lead you to a successful transition.

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Commodity Classic 2023

The Purdue University Center for Commercial Agriculture will present a Learning Center Session on Thursday, March 9 entitled Financial and Risk Management Strategies for 2023, at Commodity Classic in Orlando, Florida.

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Monthly Corn & Soybean Outlook Update

Webinar each month following USDA’s release of the updated World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE). Catch the next monthly update on February 9 for the corn and soybean outlook following release of USDA’s February Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) reports. Registration is free.

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2023 Crop Cost and Return Guide

January 13, 2023

The Purdue Crop Cost and Return Guide offers farmers a resource to project financials for the coming cropping year. These are the January 2023 crop budget estimations for 2023.


December Corn & Soybean Outlook Update

December 19, 2022

Recorded December 19 | Purdue ag economists discuss a longer-term view of the changing cost structure facing corn and soybean prices, key factors likely to impact corn and soybean prices in 2023 and discussed how to use scenario’s when analyzing price risk and making marketing decisions.


Comparing Net Returns for Alternative Leasing Agreements

September 2, 2022

Obtaining control of land through leasing has a long history in the United States.  Leases on agricultural land are strongly influenced by local custom and tradition.  However, in most areas, landowners and operators can choose from several types of lease arrangements.  With crop share arrangements, crop production and often government payments and crop insurance indemnity payments are shared between the landowner and operator.  These arrangements also involve the sharing of at least a portion of crop expenses.  Fixed cash rent arrangements, as the name implies, provide landowners with a fixed payment per year.  Flexible cash lease arrangements provide a base cash rent plus a bonus which typically represents a share of gross revenue in excess of a certain base value.  Each leasing arrangement has advantages and disadvantages.