Export numbers aren’t telling the whole story

A livestock economist says it continues to be a good year for exports – but increased production is causing some concern.

According to the USDA, exports for October were the highest amount since October of 2011 and the second highest for October ever.

University of Missouri’s Scott Brown says while that is good news – those numbers don’t tell the full story.  “When you look at the October production data that has been made available – beef, pork, and chicken production is up nearly 500 million pounds,” he says.  “While again those export numbers are up 158-million-pounds.”

He tells Brownfield there’s a continued tug-of-war between supply and demand and the best place for the US to grow demand is on the global market.

Brown uses demand for US pork in Mexico as an example of why the US needs to protect its position in the global market.  “I hope we can continue to do some education about the importance of Mexico and NAFTA more generally in terms of what it means for US agriculture,” he says.  “Ham prices, in particular, have been in some ways supported by the strength of trade of hams in to Mexico.”

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