US swine herd sets record in September 2019

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Last month the Chinese government announced it will act more intensively to buy US agricultural products, including pork. This point deserves attention considering that the US pork herd is at a record high level this year, and this will allow the US to supply a large volume of pork to the Chinese market, which will result in increased competition for pork. However, there is still a good space for Brazilian product in the Chinese market. According to a USDA’s report released at the end of September, the US swine herd on the September 1st position stood at 77.688 million head. This represents an increase of 3.38% compared to September 1, 2018, when it was at 75.136 million head, and an increase of 2.61% compared to June 1, 2019 (75.700 million head). This is the highest US pig herd for the September 1 position since the estimates began in 1988.

Thus, the US-China pork business flow will serve as thermometer of how China is operating in the global market, also showing whether Brazil’s figures are in line with the reality of the moment. The USDA’s weekly export report, released last Thursday (10), showed that in the week ending October 3 China bought 18.810 thousand tons of US pork. In 2019 to date, the US shipped 208.134 thousand tons to China. Between January and September 2018, exports to China hit 21.492 thousand tons.