World Pork Expo kicked off this morning in rainy conditions but the weather is not hampering the estimated 20,000 attendees coming through the gates this week for the largest international trade show dedicated to all things pigs. With more than 400 exhibitors plus dozens of educational events, this year is sure to be a winner.The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), who sponsors the Des Moines, Iowa-based event, gave media industry updates during a press conference this morning. NPPC President Ron Prestage, who is a pork producer and vet from Camden, South Carolina, noted the success they have had during the past year as the voice for pork producers in Washington, D.C. He stressed that their goal is to protect the livelihoods of producers and one way NPPC is doing that is with Prestage’s participation yesterday in Washington, D.C. He joined over 150 experts in human and animal health to address the issue of antibiotic resistance.
Listen to the Dr. Ron Prestage’s remarks: Ron Prestage RemarksPrestage was followed by Dr. Howard Hill, NPPC past president who gave an update on trade. Three key issues they have been addressing include the strike at western ports that delayed and impeded exporting pork first quarter of this year. In addition, he updated the group on TPA that was passed by the Senate 11 days ago. He said they are now working closely with the House on their version of the bill. Finally, he gave an update on TTIP – the free trade initiative between U.S. and the European Union.
Listen to the Dr. Howard Hill and Dr. Paul Sunberg remarks: Dr's Howard Hill & Paul Sunberg Remarks
Steve Meyer, vice president, pork analysis, Express Markets Inc. Analytics, gave the economic outlook and said that the port issues gave the industry a hit but expects the market to pick up, and is seeing prices rally to low $80s already. However, a virtually PEDv-free season has increased baby pig survival. This will lead to an estimated 2.5-2.6 million head expected for 4th quarter that could have lower price impacts in 2016.
Listen to the Steve Meyer remarks: Steve Meyer Remarks
Of special note was the announcement that Dr. Paul Sundberg, currently the vice president of science and technology at the National Pork Board, will be taking the reigns as Director of the national Swine Health Information Center (SHIC). The Center is funded, in part, with $15 million over five years from NPPC. The goal of the SHIC is to improve preparedness to handle a disaster such as PEDv.
Find photos from the event here: 2015 World Pork Expo Photo Album