Steiner Consulting Group senior analyst Altin Kalo says USDA’s breeding hog number points to another year of record pork production. “The growth has gone to states that aren’t the largest pork producers,” says Kalo. “The biggest growth was in Illinois. Iowa’s breeding herd was down slightly. This increase in the breeding herd will underpin supply growth next year.” Much of the increase in the nation’s hog herd can be attributed to anticipated pork exports to China due to African swine fever. Kalo remains optimistic about the export opportunities. “More than 60 percent of meat consumption in China is based on pork. As much as they can diversify, consumer attitudes may not be able to change that quickly,” says Kalo. “China will probably take advantage of the ample chicken supplies. They still face a significant shortfall of pork production. To fill some of that gap, they’ll have to rely on world supply.”
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