Demand for US pork rebounds in several key markets
Pork exports to Japan, traditionally the leading value market for US pork, reached 30,247 tonnes in August, up 7% from a year ago and the largest since April. August export value was $123.5 million, up 3%. For January through August, exports to Japan edged 1% above last year’s pace at 253,362 tonnes, valued at $1.07 billion (up 4%). Japan’s imports of US ground seasoned pork have rebounded strongly, with value up 48% to $220 million, in reaction to lower tariffs and an increase in Japanese demand for sausages, announced US Meat Export Federation.
From January to August, pork exports to the ASEAN region climbed 36% from a year ago to 47,666 tonnes, valued at $113.6 million. Exports to Vietnam were record-large for the second consecutive month in August and January-August shipments more than tripled last year’s pace at 16,323 tonnes (up 228%) valued at $35 million (up 278%). Following a slow start to the year, exports to the Philippines moved 4% ahead of last year in volume (27,314 mt) and 11% higher in value ($66.5 million). Colombia’s demand for US pork continued to recover in August at 5,018 tonnes – down 13% from a year ago but the largest since March. Following severe economic headwinds earlier this year from COVID-19 restrictions and devaluation of the Colombian peso, January-August exports to Colombia trailed last year’s pace by 38% in both volume (41,117 tonnes) and value ($89.4 million). Strong growth in Honduras and increasing demand in Nicaragua kept pork exports to Central America just below last year’s record pace at 59,979 tonnes (down 1%). Export value was $145.4 million, also down 1%.
However, August exports to China/Hong Kong fell below the year-ago volume for the first time this year at 61,947 tonnes (down 3%) valued at $126.2 million (down 8%). August results do not reflect China’s suspension of pork imports from Germany, which was announced September 12 following findings of ASF in wild boars near the Germany-Poland border. Through August, exports to China/Hong Kong still more than doubled last year’s totals in both volume (737,956 tonnes, up 107%) and value ($1.7 billion, up 136%).