**2018 was a record-breaking year for U.S. pork exports to South Korea.

With November and December data still being compiled, export volume, 191,610 metric tons, and value, $538.4 million, have already shattered previous highs set in 2011.

The U.S. Meat Export Federation’s Korea director, Jihae Yang says U.S. pork still gained significant market share because customers see the U.S. industry as a reliable supplier of high-quality, competitively priced products.

**China’s 2018 economic growth fell to a three-decade low, adding pressure on Beijing to settle a tariff war.

According to milkbusiness.com, the world’s second-largest economy expanded by 6.6 percent over a year earlier, down from 2017?s 6.9 percent.

Growth in the three months ending in December dipped to 6.4 percent, the lowest quarterly level since 2008, from the previous quarter’s 6.5 percent.

Communist leaders are trying to steer China to slower, more self-sustaining growth based on consumer spending instead of trade and investment.

**Some ranchers report feeling the pinch of the partial government shutdown after some cattle sales stalled because checks from buyers who have an FSA loan require authorization from the Farm Service Agency

Agweb.com reports, Laurie and Bernard Barnaud, ranchers since 1993, were scheduled to sell around 50 calves, but the couple says they can’t cash the check until the government shutdown ends.

After some the temporary FSA service last week, The USDA opened all FSA offices Thursday to help ease the pain.

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