Phil Seng, the president and chief executive officer of the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF), said an abundant and consistent supply of pork gives a major advantage over the growing competition in the pork export market.
“All the major markets, even the Mexicans, although they complain about all the pork we have going in there, the fact that we can provide pork to these countries on a consistent basis is our biggest selling point,” Seng said while speaking at the recent Illinois Pork Expo in the USA.
Hurdles facing US pork
However, he says one of the biggest hurdles facing US pork is to move producers from a domestic consumption mentality to an export mentality, even though, it’s a jump that most packers and processors already have made.
“Today what I see is the export market is the primary market for packers. We have a little dislocation here because I think most producers are still moving in the domestic market first. Packers are already looking at the international markets first because that’s where the premiums are,” Seng said.
US pork consumption
US domestic pork consumption is falling and is expected to continue to decline while a growing world population, increasing income and a desire to move to protein from cereal food sources means the demand for meat, and potentially for American pork will likely increase.
“Everything we export is for more money than we’d sell in the US. That’s what’s putting the upward pressure on prices,” Seng said.
“For every hog that is being produced in the US, almost US$40 per head is being exported,” he said.