While some analysts anticipated an increase in Taiwan’s March pork imports due to soaring domestic prices, it did not materialize. March import data showed total pork imports declined 28 percent from a year ago to 2,166 metric tons (mt), while imports from the United States (386 mt, -52 percent) were also lower. Pork variety meat imports also declined in March (though not as sharply) from all suppliers (1,965 mt, -3 percent) and from the U.S. (622 mt, -21 percent).
Through March, Taiwan’s 2014 pork imports from all suppliers declined 34 percent to 4,902 mt. Imports from the U.S. fell 66 percent to 731 mt. Pork variety meat imports from all suppliers declined 15 percent to 5,512 mt, while imports from the U.S. were down 40 percent to 1,748 mt.
Taiwan’s hog prices continued to move higher in early April, up more than 30 percent from a year ago and exceeding $1.20 per pound. PEDV losses are estimated at near 220,000 head, though losses appear to have peaked in January. Slaughter weights in March were up an average of 2 percent from a year ago as high prices incentivized the extra pounds.