USDA economist Mildred Haley expects pork production to increase 3.5 percent to 28.3 billion pounds in 2020. The increase comes in response to higher international pork prices caused by pork deficits in China, which are caused by the African Swine Fever outbreak. As a result, experts predict higher international pork prices brought on by the ASF-driven losses in China.
Those higher prices mean farrowings likely will accelerate in late 2019 and on into the following year. PorkBusiness.com says in the May Economic Research Service Outlook Report that all animal proteins are expected to increase in 2020. Beef production will rise by one percent, broiler production should jump by 1.3 percent, and other chicken production will rise by 1.4 percent. Turkey production is also expected to increase for the first time in three years.
Producer response to forecasts of continued positive U.S. economic conditions is what’s driving higher production. Prices of live equivalent 51-52 percent lean hogs are expected to average $60 per hundredweight, more than 10 percent higher than average prices in 2019.
Haley says U.S. pork exports are forecast at 6.7 billion pounds in 2020, almost seven percent higher than the 6.2 billion pounds estimated for this year.