USDA’s semi-annual Livestock and Poultry: World Markets and Trade Report shows that world pork production moves back to its long-term growth pattern in 2012, increasing 2% to a record total of 103.4 million metric tons (1 metric ton equals 1.1 tons), according to the Daily Livestock Report (DLR) published by the CME Group.

The largest production growth will occur in China and South Korea, but output will also increase in the United States, Russia and Brazil. South Korea’s production is expected to grow by 21% (after a 25% decline in 2011). China’s production is set to expand by 4% to 51.3 million metric tons, just short of 50% of the entire world’s pork output, explain DLR authors Steve Meyer and Len Steiner.

USDA expects Canadian pork production to increase 1% in 2012, marking a turning point from several years of industry contraction driven by a strong Canadian dollar.

U.S. pork trade is forecast to fall by 4% in 2012, limited by the Russian tariff rate quota and lower demand from South Korea.

Russia’s efforts to reach self-sufficiency have progressed, with output growing by nearly 3% in 2012, and imports expected to fall by 25% to only 700,000 metric tons, the lowest annual level since 2004.

Japan’s pork imports are projected to remain stable. Mexico’s pork imports are forecast to rise on the recent agreement between the United States and Mexico to remove tariffs on certain U.S. pork products in exchange for allowing Mexican trucks to operate in non-border states.

U.S. share of world pork exports will increase to 35.3% in 2012, up from 34.1% in 2011 and 31.7% in 2010. Fueling that rise is a decrease in production in the EU-27.