U.S. farm exports are forecast by the USDA to hit a record $157 billion this year, aided by a weaker dollar against many foreign currencies. Agricultural lender CoBank says the impact will be somewhat uneven, with meat and dairy products benefiting the most.
The world's most populous country is already its largest meat-importing nation and "looks like it's poised to play a major role in meat markets in the future," said USDA senior economist Fred Gale on Thursday. China's imports of beef, pork, and poultry are projected by the USDA to grow 29 percent in the coming decade.
Large domestic hog production and low market prices will propel a larger share of U.S. pork onto the world market in 2019, according to USDA economists. In the monthly Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook, they estimate more than 23 percent of pork production will be exported, up from 22.7 percent this year.