Benchmarking the profitability of raising pigs 2019

Dr. Derald Holtkamp, MS, DVM, Professor of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine, Iowa State Univ. (USA)


Benchmarking the profitability of raising pigs 2019

Country comparisons and factors contributing to their relative advantage or disadvantage in a global market

In the April 2022 report on world markets and trade of livestock and poultry, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service estimated that 11.7 million tons of pork will be exported in 20221. Pork producers around the world are competing in a global market. While that market can, and is, distorted by politics and trade relations, the global competitiveness of individual countries still matters.

How do producers in each country stack up regarding the profitability and cost of producing pork, and what factors contribute to their relative advantage or disadvantage in a global market?

Drs. Lee Schulz and Dermot Hayes in the Department of Economics at Iowa State University and I have collaborated to address this question each year since 2018.

The analysis of productivity, costs, and returns presented in this article are for 2020, the most recent available, using data primarily from InterPIG, an international benchmarking network.

The representatives of the seventeen participating countries in Europe, North America, and Brazil come from scientific institutions and extension services of producer organizations (Table 1). The InterPIG data is updated annually and represents a countrywide average performance of representative farms in each country. In addition to the information from InterPIG, data for Japan, China, Vietnam and South Korea, key pork-producing and importing countries in Asia, were obtained with the help of MSD Animal Health staff and consultants. The compiled data for the countries in Asia do not necessarily represent averages for all farms in each country. The data for Vietnam, South Korea, and Japan are for modern, commercial farms of various sizes that were free of African swine fever virus (ASFV). The data for China is for modern, large-scale, single-story, non-filtered farms that were free of ASFV.


1. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). Livestock and Poultry: World Markets and Trade. April 8, 2022.