The demand for pork increased 5.3% and the demand for live hogs increased 11.6% during the first quarter of 2004, as compared to a similar period a year ago.

“It's good news for pork producers that the demand for hogs at the live level grew nearly 12%,” says Glenn Grimes, an agricultural economist with the University of Missouri. “The demand for live hogs is what determines producers' direct profit or losses.”

Grimes says the boost in pork demand is largely due to increases in exports. The National Pork Board is working with the U.S. Meat Export Federation to promote pork.

The Pork Board is also using checkoff dollars to increase pork demand in the U.S., including a new campaign to promote pork as a protein solution for people on low-carbohydrate diets.