According to the NPB, pork expenditures – the product of total pork volume available in the US multiplied by the average US Department of Agriculture retail pork price – grew by 7.6% in 2014, compared to the previous year.
Dale Norton, president of the NPB, said 2014 was a fantastic year of growth for the pork industry, despite there being less pork to sell overall, due to the impact of porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDv) earlier in the year.
"So growth in the second half of the year came largely from higher pork prices," he said.
"Pork expenditures directly correlate to consumer demand. Despite record high prices, demand grew and was even higher than expected."
He said that, bar any recurrence of the virus, there should be more pork hitting the market in the second half of this year. He said the NPB may need to tweak its marketing plan to balance any potential increase in products hitting the market, which could see prices lowered at the meat counter, and therefore lower revenues for consumers.
The NPB carried out its annual pork producer survey in November, in order to gauge general feeling about the state of the industry, with the results published last week.
It said that 83% of producers felt the industry was heading in the right direction, up from 75% in the 2013 survey. Support for the Pork Checkoff and general optimism about the industry was strongest among larger producers, it said, while the biggest overall challenge facing producers was managing hog health and disease.