The U.S. ag attache in Mexico says while Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV) has hit some of the major producing areas of the country, sources report the virus has not hit an excessive number of farms. Despite PEDV, the attache slightly raised its 2014 pork production forecast and revised its 2013 estimate due to a rise in market weights.
The attache estimates 2014 Mexican pork production at 1.295 MMT, up slightly from USDA's official estimate. The attache expects demand for U.S. beef and pork to remain strong in 2014 as "U.S. prices are competitive and exports could be trimmed back as domestic consumers appear to have a greater willingness to pay for product in competition with export markets."
The attache adds, "As for pork, the market is highly driven by food processors, which mainly use bone - in hams as a source for sausages, deli, and other added - value products. Industry sources calculate that 70 percent of total pork imports are for food processing, leaving the other 30 percent to the fresh, unprocessed products, directly distributed to the retail and foodservice sectors. In pork, there are also opportunities for specialized products that, again, are included in traditional Mexican meals like Boston butt (which can be used for the famous trompo/past or dish). Additionally, the bone-in loin and ribs are currently becoming a popular entrée, especially in sports - themed restaurants/bars."
Regarding PEDV, the attache says the outbreak is largely centered across the major producing area of Michoacan, Jalisco and the "El Bajio" region. "Reportedly, PEDV hit the city of La Piedad, Michoacan, in July 2013 and spread to the neighboring state of Jalisco. Sources indicate that adverse climate conditions with lower temperatures later acted as a vector to spread the virus to the "El Bajio" states of Guanajuato, Queretaro, and to the valley of Mexico and Puebla as well as the northern states of Sinaloa and Sonora."
"Despite the geographic spread of PEDV in Mexico, sources report that the virus has not hit an excessive number of farms. The virus presence, however, was one of the leading causes for Post (attache) to revise its loss forecast for 2014 and loss estimate for 2013," states the attache. "Industry sources report the sector is becoming vigilant with biosecurity measures and looking for vaccination options to prevent the spread of the virus. As such, even greater losses are not yet anticipated."