November pork export volumes lower, but value remains on record pace

November pork export volumes lower, but value remains on record pace

Posted Jan. 15, 2015

U.S. pork export volumes trended lower in November, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). However, the cumulative 2014 volume totals were still higher year-over-year, with January-November pork exports 2 percent higher at just under 2 million mt.

Pork export value through November ($6.13 billion, up 11 percent) is on pace to break the 2012 record and already exceeds the 2013 year-end total.

November pork exports were down 13 percent in volume (168,062 mt) and 6 percent in value ($519.9 million).

USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng said that while the first 11 months of 2014 reflect a very solid performance for U.S. pork, exports face heightening economic challenges in leading markets in the coming year.

November pork exports equated to 25 percent of total production and 20 percent of muscle cut production – down from 26 percent and 22 percent a year ago. For January through November, exports equated to 27 percent of total production (up from 25.5 percent) and 22 percent for muscle cuts (up from 21 percent). Export value per head slaughtered was $58.99 in November (up 3 percent from a year ago) and $63.21 for January-November (up 17 percent).

Exports to leading volume market Mexico slowed in November (53,433 mt, down 9 percent) but January-November volume still reached 617,034 mt, up 10 percent from a year ago. Export value was 2 percent lower in November ($121.8 million) but still up 31 percent year-over-year to a record $1.42 billion.

Pork muscle cut exports to Japan were down 22 percent in November (25,901 mt) and fell 19 percent in value ($120.3 million). For January-November, muscle cut exports to Japan were down 6 percent in volume (354,239 mt) and 2 percent in value to $1.66 billion. The Japanese market has been greatly impacted by an influx of pork from the European Union, which has been locked out of its top market, Russia, since January 2014. Data from Japan show that pork/pork variety meat imports from the EU increased 42 percent through November, reflecting lower prices resulting from the impasse with Russia.

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