Growing demand for pork and increasing value

As supplies of US pork continue to grow, the Pork Checkoff remains focused on creating value for producers.

Norman Bessac, vice president of marketing with the National Pork Board, says there is a significant opportunity to increase demand for US pork in the Asia region, starting with China.  “First and foremost, it’s to meet, as best we can, the demand we see coming out of China,” he says.  “They have a tremendous pork hole, and hopefully we’re at the bottom of that as they begin to deal with ASF and build their way out of that for the next 5 to 7 years.”

Bessac says they’re also working closely with the US Meat Export Federation to rebuild and further develop relationships in markets like Japan and Mexico, which were hurt by the tariff and trade wars, and are the largest value and volume export markets for US pork.

He tells Brownfield market diversity also remains a priority.  “The more markets we can have buying a wide variety of products, the better that helps us manage risk,” he says.  “And the better long-term sustainable growth that provides.  We’ve certainly seen good volume in Central and South America.”  Bessac uses Colombia as an example.  “If we could increase per capita consumption to equal that of some other South American countries like Peru and Chile, that just provides a tremendous growth opportunity for us,” he says. 

In 2019, pork exports accounted for nearly 27 percent of US pork production and pork and pork variety meat exports were valued at more than $6.95 billion. 

AUDIO: Norman Bessac, National Pork Board

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