The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) is pleased with the recent news that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed plans for a Section 32 purchase of $50.1 million of pork for distribution to various food nutrition and assistant programs. Section 32 of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1935 authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to make commodity purchases, entitlement purchases, and disaster assistance using funds appropriated annually from U.S. customs receipts.
NPPC notes the U.S. pork industry faces a challenging market environment resulting in the worst five months of average losses in 20 years. The current decline in producer profitability results from steady to slightly higher hog supplies combined with weaker wholesale pork demand, resulting in lower year-over-year hog prices that are being met with record-high production costs.
This combination of impacts has resulted in more than $1.4 billion in industry losses over the last five months, calculated as the average per-head loss multiplied by the number of hogs slaughtered from November 2022 through March 2023.
An Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Section 32 pork purchase can provide much-needed support to the wholesale pork market, and, therefore, the hog market, while also securing affordable, nutritious pork products for USDA recipient programs.
NPPC applauds USDA’s purchase and looks forward to continuing to work with the administration to identify additional opportunities to find support for U.S. pork producers during these challenging market conditions.