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Pork exports continue growth trend in April

Posted June 19, 2014

U.S. pork exports continued their positive growth trend in April, increasing by double digits in volume and by an even healthier margin in value, according to statistics released by the USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

Higher prices commanded in the global market have driven up per-head export values for U.S. pork, as international customers have, so far, been willing to pay higher prices for larger volumes.

For the month of April, total U.S. pork exports (muscle cuts plus variety meat) rose 11 percent over year-ago levels in volume to 192,924 metric tons (mt) valued at $596 million, a 26 percent increase. For the first four months of 2014, pork exports are up 11 percent in volume to 776,601 mt valued at $2.25 billion, a 14 percent rise.

Pork export market highlights from April included:
• Mexico: the top volume market was up 42 percent in value to $132 million on 1 percent higher volume (53,288 mt), helping support record ham prices.
• Japan: export volume set a new monthly record of 48,507 mt (up 39 percent). Sales to the top pork export value market rose 26 percent to $193.9 million.
• South Korea: imported its largest volume of U.S. pork since March 2012: 17,126 mt (up 95 percent) valued at $51 million (up 122 percent).
• Canada: the No. 4 export market for U.S. pork rebounded slightly in April with volume up 4 percent (17,384 mt) and value up 27 percent ($75.6 million).
• Colombia: the top market in the Central/South America region continues to sizzle, up 76 percent in volume in April (4,398 mt) and 74 percent in value ($11.4 million).
Pork exports in April accounted for 28 percent of total U.S. pork production and 23 percent of muscle cuts alone, increases from 25 and 21 percent, respectively, over last April. Export value per head slaughtered equated to $67.35 for the month, up from $50.75 a year ago.

Editor’s notes:
• Export statistics refer to both muscle cuts and variety meat unless otherwise noted
• One metric ton (mt) = 2.204.622 pounds.


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