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6 Ways to keep bacon on US plates as China rebuilds


Source: Jennifer Shike, 5 November 2020, Photo credit:

What will the U.S. export picture look like over the next three to five years? As China makes progress rebuilding its hog herd, that’s the question analysts continue to mull as they look at what’s ahead. 

According to a new report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange, China’s pork market is showing the early signs of herd rebuilding and hog prices have fallen 30% from their peak a year ago. 

“This increases the risk of an oversupply of U.S. pork if exports to other markets, primarily in Asia and Latin America, are unable to absorb this supply,” said Will Sawyer, lead economist, animal protein, CoBank. 

The U.S. pork industry has built multiple new plants over the past four years, increasing packing capacity by 12%, with much of this new capacity eyed for international markets. Losing export opportunities could lead to difficult conditions for U.S. hog producers and processors alike, the report said. 

The report notes six strategies and changes the pork industry can make now to help dampen that impact of lost export opportunities. 
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