Ag News: U.S. Meat Imports Down
**Drought in Australia and New Zealand will contribute to reduced meat imports in the U.S. this year.
Most beef and lamb imports come from those two nations, and the USDA predicts a second straight year of declines in 2020.
Pork imports will decrease due to record U.S. production and strong demand in Asian nations suffering outbreaks of African Swine Fever. Imports represent about 8% of U.S. red meat consumption.
**At the top of the agweb.com list of 2019’s top bacon stories is one that talks about the U.S. having a record level pork belly sitting in cold storage, with more than 40 million pounds in refrigerated warehouses as of September 30th, the highest amount for the month since 1971.
This stockpile stems from a buildup in U.S. hog herds as producers built up their herds in anticipation of more demand of imports from China following the ASF outbreak.
**One year after China did not import even one ounce of US soybeans, in November, Chinese imports surged to the highest in 20 months ahead of the expected signing of the Phase One trade deal.
According to agrimarketing.com, China's inbound shipments from the U.S. more than doubled to 2.6 million tons.
China's total commitments in the current marketing year hit 10.5 million tons, compared with just 2 million tons the year before.