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Weekly USDA export reports to now include pork

Posted March 22, 2013

All U.S. pork exporters are now required to report their weekly sales to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

The new requirement took effect March 19 when the proposed USDA rule was published in the Federal Register. Weekly reporting of fresh, chilled or frozen muscle cuts, boxed or not, will now be included in the department’s Export Sales Report.

USDA will now be able to report the total volume of pork export sales and shipments within two weeks of the activity. Until now, there’s been a two-month delay in the total export sales volumes and shipments reports from the U.S. Census Bureau. With more timely reporting, market transparency will improve and the pork commodity market can better adjust to changing export activity.

David Struthers, a pork producer from Collins and an Iowa Pork Producers Association Board member, feels it’s going to help the pork industry.

“I’ve always felt the more educated we are and the more we know about what’s going on, the better decisions we can make for our future,” Struthers said. “It gives us a better idea of supply and product movement and is one of the tools we can use to determine what direction the industry is headed.”

Exporters will report the quantity, destination, and marketing year of all pork export sales totaling one metric ton or greater, including certain changes in previously reported sales.

Export and commodity reporting is mandated by the 1978 Agricultural Trade Act, which also gives the secretary of agriculture the authority to include other commodities. Recent amendments to that act mandated the addition of pork as a commodity for which export reporting is required. Feed grains, beef and wheat are among other required commodities.

U.S. pork exports have seen record setting growth in recent years, topping 2.2 million metric tons in 2012.

Distillers Dried Grain may be the next commodity required for reporting. Another proposed rule published in the Federal Register March 19 is seeking public comment on the addition of DDGs to the required report list.

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