Meat & Livestock News

US Pork Exports Set to Surpass Chicken by 2033, Predicts USDA ERS


  • USDA’s Economic Research Service forecasts pork exports to exceed chicken for the first time since 1976 within the next decade, driven by global income growth and favourable currency exchange rates.
  • Beef exports face a downturn until 2024 due to the cattle cycle’s contraction phase but will recover and grow steadily until 2031.
  • Broiler exports are on an upward trajectory, expected to achieve an 8% increase by 2033, with pork production also predicted to see significant growth, leading U.S. meat exports by 2028.

The USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) has released projections indicating a significant shift in the landscape of U.S. meat exports over the next decade. For the first time since 1976, pork exports are expected to overtake chicken, marking a historic change attributed to increasing overseas incomes and a slight decline in the real exchange rate of the U.S. dollar against key agricultural trade partners.

In the beef sector, the current phase of the cattle cycle, which typically lasts around 10 years, is expected to cause a contraction in beef exports, driving them to an eight-year low by 2024. However, the sector is poised for a rebound, with a steady increase in exports forecasted through 2031, despite a minor dip anticipated towards the end of the period.

Broiler exports are set to experience steady growth, driven by an increase in production and global demand. The ERS anticipates broiler exports to reach new annual highs, culminating in an 8% rise by 2033. Similarly, pork production is expected to grow, fueled by efficiency gains and rising demand, with projections showing U.S. pork exports surpassing both beef and chicken by 2028.

Despite the anticipated surge in exports, domestic meat availability in the U.S. is expected to outpace export growth. Per capita consumption of pork, beef, and chicken is forecasted to rise through 2033, driven by income growth and consumer preferences for animal proteins, ensuring a robust demand within the domestic market alongside expanding export opportunities.