What About Pork?

Published on: 00:26AM Nov 11, 2014

Every once in a while, I like to post of interesting facts about food production around the world. I came across the 2014 Kansas City Federal Reserve Agricultural Symposium that was held this summer and found a presentation by Derrell Peel, a professor at Oklahoma State University. Here is a recap of some interesting facts about global pork production:

  • Over the last 10 years, global pork production has increased from about 94 million metric tons to almost 111 million metric tons, or an 17 million ton increase (18% increase or less than 2% per year).
  • China accounts for almost exactly 50% of that production with the EU 27 countries second at about 22 million metric tons with the US third about slightly more than 10 million metric tons.
  • Most pork is consumed by the country producing it, however, the major exporting counties (which the US is #1) do export slightly less than 7 million metric tons. US exports a bit more than 2 million tons, the EU-27 is about 2 million tons and then Canada is number 3 at 1.25 million tons.
  • Japan is the number 1 importer at about 1.2 million tons, China and Mexico are about tied at #2 with about 800,000 metric tons and the US actually imports 400,000 tons.
  • Over the last 10 years, China's pork production has increased by from about 45 million to almost 57 million metric tons. That increase is more than the world's total exports of pork.
  • Over 10 years, the US pork exports have more than doubled from 1 million metric tons to over 2 million with a peak of almost 2.5 million tons in 2012. It is expected to exceed 2.5 million tons in 2015.
  • The US continues to import hogs from Canada with a peak of 10 million head in 2007, declining to about 5 million head currently. The majority of these hogs weigh less than 110 pounds.
  • Pork export values have exceeded $6 billion over the last three years and with the large increase in pork prices this year, it is expected that these values will exceed $7 billion or perhaps $8 billion in 2014.

For the last couple of years, crop values exceeded livestock values. For 2014, this trend will revert back to normal where livestock sales exceed crop sales.