The National Pork Board hosted a webinar on February 11 where experts spoke on the 2021 year-end U.S. pork export data, NPB’s international marketing strategy and their estimates for 2022 forecasting.   

On February 8, USDA released the year-end export data. In 2021, U.S. pork exports set a new value record topping $8 billion for the first time. Export volume was down 2% from the 2020 record. Exports accounted for 29.4% of total U.S. pork production, up slightly from 2020. 

Pork Checkoff funds are used to host this webinar to help pork producers understand the publicly available information. The goal is to add value to the pork industry and ultimately to consumers by providing a better understanding of the economics of pork production. 

Brett Stuart, co-founder of Global Agri-trends, shared an overview of the 2021 export data, presented charts of U.S. pork exports by cut and category and expressed his assumptions for global pork trade in 2022. 

“If you take the total export dollars divided by our slaughter, it comes out to $61 per hog,” says Stuart. “It is incredible what has happened in a relatively short amount of time, and I think it is a great credit to what we do in productivity, making pork affordable and promoting it, and the efforts made by so many around the world.” 

Brett Stuart, economist and co-founder of Agri-trends, discusses his forecast assumptions.

Dr. Clay Eastwood, director of international market development at NPB

NPB’s Dr. Clay Eastwood shed light on NPB’s market differentiation study that highlighted six key markets for U.S. pork in 2021. The study identified key themes that differentiate U.S. pork from competitors like Canada and the European Union. 

Dr. Clay Eastwood talks about NPB’s valued partnerships. 

Courtney Knupp, vice president of international market development at NPB

NPB’s vice president of international market development Courtney Knupp explained how NPB’s partnerships, strategy and market assessments allow U.S. pork to differentiate from its competitors. 

Courtney Knupp talks about ways producers can support NPB’s differentiation efforts.

Dr. Steve Meyer, economist with Partners for Production Agriculture

Dr. Steve Meyer, an economist with Partners for Production Agriculture, shared his insights on key issues for markets, packer capacity, demand and his 2022 forecasts. 

“If you’re selling a product, you want your prices to be high. In any business, one of their goals is to get their selling prices up by creating value in the mind of their customers. And I think that’s what NPB and packers have done very well over the last few years.”

Dr. Steve Meyer, an economist with Partners for Production Agriculture, gives his encouragement and forecasts for 2022.

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The views expressed by the guest speakers are theirs and not those of the National Pork Board.