July pork export volume dips to 15-month low

July pork export volume dips to 15-month low

USDA statistics compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation show that July pork export volume dipped below its year-ago level for the first time in 15 months, with export value also down slightly.

Pork exports totaled 173,675 mt in July, down 4 percent year-over-year, valued at $488.9 million, down 0.6 percent. January-July volume was still up 11 percent from a year ago to 1.43 million mt, while export value was up 13 percent to $3.7 billion.

Exports accounted for 26 percent of total pork production in July (down from 27.5% a year ago) and 21 percent for muscle cuts only (down from 23%). For the first seven months of the year, with U.S. production at a record pace, the percentage of total production exported increased from 25.6 percent to 27.5 percent. For muscle cuts only, the increase was from 21.6 percent to 23 percent. Export value per head slaughtered in July was $54.22 – up slightly from June, but 3 percent below last July. The January-July per-head average increased 10 percent from a year ago to $54.11.

Powerful growth in Mexico, Korea and South America couldn’t overcome the overall decrease in July pork exports.

Pork exports to Mexico remained on pace for a sixth consecutive annual volume record, with July volume up 7 percent from a year ago to 58,625 mt and value increasing 9 percent to $122.9 million. Through July, exports increased 20 percent in volume (457,190 mt) and 26 percent in value ($854.4 million).

Leading pork value market Japan saw a year-over-year decline in July, as exports dipped 7 percent in both volume (28,314 mt) and value ($120.5 million). Through July, exports to Japan remained modestly higher year-over-year in both volume (228,489 mt, up 2 percent) and value ($931.1 million, up 6 percent).

In South Korea, pork exports continued to capitalize on strong red meat consumption growth, especially for convenience products and home meal replacement items, as exports to Korea climbed 30 percent in volume (103,142 mt) and 36 percent in value ($282.6 million).

Led by strong growth in Colombia and Chile, pork exports to South America more than doubled year-over year in both volume (56,345, up 104 percent) and value ($143.6 million, up 109 percent).


  • Export statistics refer to both muscle cuts and variety meat, unless otherwise noted.
  • One metric ton (mt) = 2,204.622 pounds.