On April 11, the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service released a semi-annual update for its global meat production and trade outlook. Some notable highlights include:
- Similar to last fall’s forecast, USDA expects a slight uptick in global beef production, led by the United States (up nearly 5 percent). Increases in Brazil and India will also help offset the decrease in Australian production (down 14 percent).
- China is expected to outpace Japan and become the world’s second-largest beef importer this year, following the U.S.
- An 8 percent increase is projected for U.S. beef exports, driven by recovery in market share in Asia but still limited by the strong U.S. dollar, which will especially impact exports to Mexico and Canada.
- USDA is now forecasting a 1 percent drop in global pork production due to the decrease in China (expected down 2.5 percent) and a slight decrease in the European Union (down 0.5 percent), offsetting growth in most other major pork-producing countries.
- Global pork exports are projected to increase 6 percent, driven by growth from the EU and U.S., but at lower prices.
- U.S. pork production is projected to increase 2 percent, with exports expected to increase 5 percent, on growth to China and Mexico.
- The report includes a special feature article titled “Surging EU Pork Exports to Asia to Disrupt U.S. Shipments.” USDA expects EU exports to increase by a further 9 percent this year.
The full USDA report is available online. All data are in carcass weight equivalent, which does not include variety meats.