Market Access Key to Success of US Pork Industry

Tue, 13 Jun 2017

US - The President of the National Pork Producers Council says, with near record volumes of protein being produced in the United States, access to export markets will be critical to the continued success of the US pork industry, according to Bruce Cochrane.

Trade was one of the top issues discussed last week as pork industry stakeholders gathered in Des Moines for World Pork Expo.

National Pork Producers Council President Ken Maschhoff says in travelling to Mexico, Peru, Columbia and talking to friends in Japan, Viet Nam and other parts of the world he hears US pork is considered the safest, most wholesome and most affordable product out there and the industry has grown for that reason.

Ken Maschhoff-National Pork Producers Council

We know that we've got a mountain of protein coming at us.

If you look at the second half of the year we'll probably have near record production of protein, pork, poultry, beef across the board.

We also know that there's some things to be concerned about.

China for instance, which a lot of people are banking on for a place for some of this pork to go, their pork prices have been falling a little bit.

The value of pork versus Mexico for instance has maybe not been in our favor.

The weakening of the dollar has actually led to increased exports, which has helped us out and the new packing plant capacity coming on this fall will help us out.

But we also know that we've been stuck in this mid to high 50s, low 60s per capita consumption of pork in the United States for a long time.

We don't see that changing dramatically so we know that this extra pork that we are building harvest capacity for and the extra hogs coming to market to fill those plants are going to translate into exports and so we have to make sure that these trade agreements are right and that we've got the right barriers to entry across countries broken down so that we're going to be able to get this extra tonnage moved.

Mr Maschhoff says US pork is considered to be the most affordable best product available and the only thing that will restrict the free flow of pork will be political barriers such as tariffs, quotas and duties.