Opportunities and headwinds face beef, pork exports

A livestock economist says while exports of US pork are running below year-ago levels, it’s not all bad news.

University of Missouri livestock economist Scott Brown says there’s really no other countries trying to grow pork supplies.  “And so the competition from the rest of the world is maybe less than it’s been in the past, the EU’s not growing, which typically would take a lot of pork exports,” he says. 

He tells Brownfield that puts the US pork industry in a pretty good position.  “It leaves the United States in a position to gain export shares,” he says.  “Even though prices are much higher and the dollar has strengthened.”

Year-to-date pork exports are down 14.3%. 

Cattle prices could be headed to record highs in 2023 Brown says that could also mean record high beef prices for consumers.

He says he’s watching what that does to demand for US beef on the global market.  “Consumers in a lot of other countries are beginning to understand that do we have perhaps better beef in the United States, better quality better taste,” he says.  “And how much are they willing to pay premiums for the kind of products that we have?”

Beef exports for September were down nearly 6% from the previous year at 276 million pounds.  This was the first time since February that beef exports dipped below 300 million pounds.

For the year, exports are still running 4.6% ahead of 2021.

Brown says there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding demand for both beef and pork, especially if there is a widespread slowing of the global economy. 

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