Jim Long Pork Commentary, U.S. Record Pork Exports, February 19th 2024


Last week the U.S. exported 75,910 metric tonnes of Pork. This is the largest amount on record. Year to date U.S. exports up 30% – Big increases year to date with Australia up 471%, China +69%, Colombia +71%, South Korea +80%, Philippines +2975%. There is no doubt something is happening in Global Pork needs and demand.

U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) estimates that in 2023, 29.8% of all U.S. pork was exported. The U.S. marketed 127.344 million hogs in 2023. Farmer Arithmetic equates 29.8% x 127.344 million to equal 37.948 million hogs equivalent exported. If year to date 30% export increase be maintained, it would be equivalent to another 10 million hogs exported in 2024 than 2023. Certainly, would be big price booster.

China is the world’s largest importer of pork. U.S. exports to China up 69% year over year. Could be indication of drop in China pork production. Prices in China have jumped $50 per head in the last few weeks, China government reports sow herd down 2.4 million sows. Losses in China in the billions over the last year. Add together and then U.S. exports to China up 69%. China dynamics will be supportive to U.S. hog prices.

U.S. Corn Price

Last Friday the U.S. National Corn Price a bushel closed at $3.96 a bushel breaking below $4.00 a bushel the lowest in four years. We read where U.S. average cost of production is $4.90 a bushel. An indicator of crop outlook John Deere (NYSE: DE) shares down 18% since July. The lower cost of corn is helping drive the breakeven on the purchase of a 40 lb. feeder pig to $98.07 a pig last Friday. A reflection of profit potential in farrow to finish operations in the summer of 2024.

Tough times in Genetic Business

The swine industry has had challenges economically. The swine genetics industry has been caught up in that economic reality.

There is only one swine genetic company that is publicly traded. Genus plc – PIC on the London Stock Exchange (LON: GNS). There shares peaked at over £60 per share ($75.61 USD) in mid-August 2021. Last Friday closed at £17.88 per share ($22.53 USD). There was a decline last week of over 16% that was attributed to a guidance warning from Genus plc on future results.

The Genus (PIC) market cap was £1.179 billion ($1.486 billion USD) last Friday. Down over £2.5 billion ($3.150 billion USD) since market cap peak. Tough times in the swine industry.


Record U.S. pork exports, a positive indicator. Lower feed costs have dropped the cost of production by $25 per head. We expect higher hog prices and lower feed costs will return industry to profitability by May. Need it, will take months and months to backfill the equity hole.