Tariffs raise questions over pork exports & feed demand
If the retaliatory tariffs set on U.S. pork products by some top destinations continue, corn export demand will feel a hit this year, pressuring prices. There is even speculation that pork prices could fall below their production cost—although some relief could come from lower export demand for grains and soybeans due to tariffs, lowering the prices of some feed products.
At the end of March, cumulative 2018 corn exports were up 3.5 percent YoY. At the end of July, however, exports were up just 1.8 percent. Even that 1.8 percent growth may be somewhat overstated, considering that some exports were probably rushed ahead of the implementation of the announced tariffs. Mexico has placed the tariffs on pork at 20 percent, and China’s tariff is now 50 percent.
As of June 1, USDA reported the number of hogs and pigs at a fresh record of 73.45 million head, up 3.4 percent from a year prior and slightly better than the 3.2 percent gains reported for Mar. 1.
Cumulative weekly corn exports (all destinations)
Source: USDA, McKeany-Flavell
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