The outbreaks of porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus, which have afflicted a growing number of U.S. swine herds since spring, have resulted in an announcement Tuesday by Mexico that it is blocking imports of live pigs from the United States, according to today’s Daily Livestock Report.

Authors Steve Meyer and Len Steiner clarify that the move does not contain market significance for several reasons:

  • The ban does not include pork muscle cuts or pork variety meats as the viral disease does not spread through meat and therefore poses no human health risk.
  • The number of live pigs the United States exports to Mexico has declined greatly in recent years. Last year that number did climb to nearly 27,000 head. But that figure pales in comparison to the 120,000-plus per year that were shipped to Mexico from 2002 through 2007. In those years, a major portion of the hogs exported were slaughter hogs.
  • Through April, only 3,758 head were shipped, down 35% from the same period in 2012. And most of these animals were designated as breeding stock to be used in Mexican production facilities.

 

In 2012, the United States exported 55,059 head of live pigs. Mexico was by far the largest single destination, followed by China. U.S. live pig exports to Canada have ranged from 2,000 to 6,000 head per year in recent years, most going as breeding stock, the authors point out.

The report indicates exports of live pigs are important for U.S. breeding stock producers – but don’t play much of a role in the slaughter hog market, and therefore should have little or no impact on market hog prices.

Read more of Daily Livestock Report at www.dailylivestockreport.com.