Statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) this month show pork exports continued to build momentum in October.
October pork shipments totaled 201,936 metric tons (mt), up 14 percent year-over-year and the largest monthly volume since March 2014. Export value was $521.1 million, up 16 percent. For January through October, export volume was 6 percent above last year’s pace at 1.86 million mt, while export value was up 3 percent to $4.79 billion.
Exports accounted for 25.5 percent of total pork production in October and 21 percent for muscle cuts only. For January-October, exports accounted for 25 percent of total production and 21 percent for muscle cuts. Export value per head slaughtered averaged $47 in October, up 8 percent year-over-year, while January-October export value averaged $49, steady with the same period last year.
“With strong support from USDA, our U.S. industry partners and our international contacts, USMEF has intensified its marketing efforts in key destinations and capitalized on opportunities to regain market share – not only in mainstay markets such as Japan, Mexico and South Korea, but in a wide range of countries,” said Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO. “This has laid the groundwork for a strong finish to this year and further growth in 2017.”
Pork exports to Mexico remained strong in October, increasing 9 percent from a year ago in volume (65,271 mt) and 6 percent in value ($115.2 million). For January through October, exports to Mexico pulled within 2 percent of last year’s record pace in volume (576,008 mt) and remained 1 percent higher in value ($1.05 billion). This strong performance has been especially supportive of prices for U.S. hams, the highest-volume export item to Mexico.
Japan is the leading value market for U.S. pork and exports remained strong in October, increasing 4 percent from a year ago in volume (30,987 mt) and 9 percent in value ($127.9 million). Through the first 10 months of the year, exports to Japan were 7 percent below last year’s pace in volume (320,491 mt) and 4 percent lower in value ($1.29 billion). Chilled pork exports to Japan remained on a record pace through October, totaling 180,793 mt, up 9 percent year-over-year.
Pork muscle cut exports to China/Hong Kong continued to moderate in October, reflecting a rebound in China’s domestic pork production, but variety meat exports to the region remained strong. For January through October, total pork/pork variety meat exports to China/Hong Kong were up 66 percent from a year ago in volume (450,257 mt) and 55 percent higher in value ($878.8 million).
- Export statistics refer to both muscle cuts and variety meat, unless otherwise noted.
- One metric ton (mt) = 2,204.622 pounds.