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American Shipper

U.S. pork exports to dominate world market over next 10 years

U.S. pork exports to dominate world market over next 10 years

The United States is expected to remain the world's dominant pork exporter for the next 10 years, according to a report released this week by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

   The annual Agricultural Outlook report said the U.S. share of global pork exports will reach 30 percent by 2016, and one in every 3.4 pounds of pork traded in the world will originate from the United States.

   The U.S. Meat Export Federation credits the American pork producers' 'tremendous efficiency gains, resulting in a 55 percent increased in port production per breeding hog over the past 15 years.'

   The federation noted that exports have increased from 7 percent of total U.S. pork production in 2000 to more than 15 percent in 2006. 'Export markets provide a higher return to U.S. pork producers on selected products than if those products were sold domestically,' said Phil Seng, the federation's president and chief executive officer, in a statement.

   The federation also attributes U.S. pork export increases to the weakened dollar.

   The European Union remains the second-largest pork exporter, but Brazil's exports are expected to surpass the European Union by 2016. The Agricultural Outlook attributes the European Union's slowdown in pork exports to rising domestic demand, increased feed and other input costs, costly environmental and animal welfare regulations, and the relatively strong euro. The European Union exports as a percent of production are expected to decline to 5 percent over the outlook period, while market share is expected to fall from 26 percent to 18 percent.

   Canadian exports in 2016 are expected to be 2 percent lower than its 2006 export volume, with exports falling from 46 percent of production to 38 percent over the next 10 years. Canada's share of global exports is expected to fall from 20 percent in 2006 to 15.6 percent in 2016 as the industry is not expected to recover from recent losses due to the strong Canadian dollar and high labor and feed costs.

   'Under NAFTA, U.S. pork trade with Canada has increased,' Seng said. 'Canada currently is our third-largest market for pork exports, as U.S. exporters are using the weak U.S. dollar to their advantage.'

   As an importing country, Japan is expected to remain the top pork importer by 2016, accounting for one quarter of global pork imports. Other major pork importing countries are Russia at 11 percent, Mexico at 8 percent and South Korea at 5 percent.

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