Capital Update – For the Week Ending February 10, 2023

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In this week’s National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) Friday recap: State of the Union statement, Farm Bill hearing, 2022 U.S. pork export data and Codex Alimentarius Commission updates. Take a deeper dive below.

NPPC Statement on President Biden’s State of the Union

What happened: In advance of President Biden’s address Tuesday night, NPPC issued the statement below, reinforcing points made in last week’s Farm Bill hearing. Expanding market access was a major point of conversation during the Trade and Horticulture hearing, as well as the Farm Bill’s Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program. These programs help build commercial export markets for U.S. agricultural products through generic marketing and promotion and help reduce foreign import constraints.

NPPC’s take: NPPC supports the Biden administration and the United States Department of Agriculture’s work to remove unfair barriers to trade to enable more market opportunities for American pork farmers. Open trade and investment policies have made the U.S. pork industry more competitive internationally. Last year alone, the U.S. exported nearly $7.7 billion in U.S. pork and pork products to over 100 countries. America’s pork producers stand ready to back government efforts to maintain, diversify and expand additional export markets for U.S. agriculture.

Second Farm Bill Hearing in the Books

What happened: The Senate Committee on Agriculture held its second committee hearing on Thursday, Feb. 9, focusing on commodity programs, crop insurance and credit.

Key topics discussed:

  • Crop Insurance Programs
  • Livestock and Dairy Coverage
  • Disaster Assistance Programs
  • Specialty Crops
  • Inclusivity
  • Program Funding
  • Improving Current Programs

Upcoming Farm Bill hearing dates:

  • Feb. 16: Nutrition programs
  • March 1: Conservation and forestry programs
  • March 16: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack testifies

Hearing dates can change – stay up to date by checking the Senate Agriculture Committee hearing calendar here.

2022 U.S. Pork Exports Strong Despite Continuing Challenges

What happened: The federal government released data this week showing in 2022 the U.S. pork industry exported its third-highest amount of product on record. Last year, $7.68 billion of U.S. pork was shipped to foreign destinations.

The information comes from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Commerce, which compares with 2021’s record $8.1 billion worth and the $7.72 billion exported in 2020.

  • Mexico was the number one value market for American pork in 2022, topping $2 billion. That amount represented a 21% increase over 2021.
  • Japan, the number two value market, took in $1.5 billion of U.S. pork, about 13% less than the previous year.
  • China, the pork industry’s number one export market for the past two years, fell to number three in 2022. Last year, China’s $1.4 billion of U.S. pork imports was down 19.6% from 2021.

Why it matters: The U.S. pork industry is dependent on exports, which represented 23.5% of total pork production and added $61.26 to the price producers received for each hog marketed in 2022.

U.S. pork exports remained strong last year. This is despite the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, continuing supply chain issues, and worldwide inflationary pressures. Opening new and expanding existing markets for U.S. pork is a top priority for NPPC.

Administration Working to Expand Markets for U.S. Agriculture

What happened: President Biden’s State of the Union address Tuesday evening, detailed his administration’s successes over the past year. This included the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) efforts to open international markets to more U.S. agricultural products.

Last year, USDA ran several programs to increase exports from America’s farmers and ranchers and worked to remove barriers to trade and expand market opportunities and profits for U.S. producers.

For example, USDA resumed agribusiness trade missions after a two-year pause because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The missions have generated more than $42 million in sales to date. The agency also addressed supply chain disruptions at America’s shipping ports, vital to U.S. agricultural producers exporting goods overseas.

For the U.S. pork industry, USDA has worked with other federal departments, including the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), to gain access to U.S. pork in Ghana and Nigeria.

Why it matters: In 2022, agricultural exports reached a record high of $196 billion, helping U.S. net farm income set a record of $160.5 billion despite a steep increase in input costs and other expenses. The average net farm income is projected to be $110,600 this year, an increase of nearly 9%.

NPPC works with USDA, USTR and the U.S. Department of Commerce to open new and expand existing markets to U.S. pork. Last year, the pork industry exported nearly $7.7 billion of product – the third-highest amount on record – to foreign destinations.

Codex Alimentarius Commission Updates

What happened: NPPC is among over 25 agriculture associations to sign a letter sent to Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, Alexis Taylor, regarding the Codex Alimentarius Commission.

The Food Industry Codex Coalition (FICC) organizations congratulate The Honorable Alexis Taylor on her confirmation as Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs. The letter shares the mission of the Codex Alimentarius Commission and proceeds to thank Taylor and the USDA team for their support. The FICC supports Taylor’s leadership and will continue to do so in her role as Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs.

What is Codex: The Codex Alimentarius Commission was established by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1963. The Codex Alimentarius, also referred to as the “Food Code,” is a collection of guidelines and standards that focuses on protecting consumer health and ensuring fair practices in the food trade.

Learn more about Codex here.

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