U.S. pork exports will fall below the huge records set in 2020 and 2021, while beef exports could hit a record in 2022, approaching $12 billion. Dan Halstrom, president and CEO of the U.S. Meat Exporters’ Federation, said the decline in pork exports was partly due to African swine fever, but a sharp recovery by the end of the year meant the industry was on track for 2023. It is well positioned for annual growth.

The latest USDA Hogs and Pigs report showed that as of Sept. 1, 2022 the breeding herd was 6.152 million head, down 0.6% compared to a year and the smallest September breeding herd since 2017. Hog producers said they intend to farrow 2.973 million sows during the September-November quarter, which would be down 2.5% from the same quarter in 2021. Similarly, December 2022-February 2023 sows farrowing intentions are expected to be below year prior levels.

As for U.S. beef exports, Halstrom says recent market access gains in China played a significant role, however there has been widespread growth in global demand. A 5 percent increase in U.S. beef and pork exports in 2023 is expected. Looking back at 2022, it’s been a great year with close to $20 billion in U.S. beef and pork exports.

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