US Pork Exports Remain Below Last Year


Pork exports remained below last year’s pace but continued to gain strength in Colombia and the Caribbean and stayed above year-ago for Mexico, the leading destination for U.S. pork, informs USMEF.

Posted on Sep 19 ,04:56

US Pork Exports Remain Below Last Year

July pork exports to leading market Mexico reached 70,245 mt, up 6% from a year ago, while export value jumped 16% to $169.6 million. Mexico again took about 9% of U.S. pork muscle cut production in July, continuing the trend seen since August 2021. January-July exports to Mexico were 17% above last year’s record pace at 539,540 mt, while value increased 12% to $1.05 billion. Mexico recently suspended duties on all imported red meat cuts, a move that primarily impacted European pork because U.S. and Canadian pork already enter at zero duty. But to date, Mexico’s imports of EU pork remain limited and are mainly in the variety meat category, still subject to import duties.

Pork exports to Colombia continued to surge in July, climbing 24% to 9,078 mt, while export value increased 23% to $22.3 million. Despite a slow first quarter, January-July exports to Colombia pulled 12% ahead of last year in both volume (60,891 mt) and value ($141.8 million).

July pork exports to the Caribbean increased 15% from a year ago to 6,327 mt, while value also climbed 15% to $19 million. Led by strong demand in the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas and the Leeward-Windward Islands, January-July exports increased 37% from a year ago to 58,075 mt, valued at $156.7 million (up 40%).

Other January-July results for U.S. pork exports include:

  • July pork exports to South Korea reached 14,662 mt, up 7% from a year ago, while value was steady at $50.2 million. Through July, exports to Korea increased 7% in value to $375.5 million despite a small decline in volume (107,119 mt, down 2%).
  • While still below year-ago levels, July pork exports to China/Hong Kong were the largest since September at 44,943 mt, valued at $117.2 million (the highest since July 2021). The strength is in variety meats, which reached 29,539 mt in July, the most since July 2021, valued at $71.2 million. Through July, pork and pork variety meat exports to China/Hong Kong totaled 267,727 mt, down 49% from a year ago, valued at $712.2 million (down 42%). China’s live hog price averaged $1.50/lb. in July and has continued to hold in that range, up 35% from June and from a year ago. U.S. pork and pork variety meats are still subject to China’s 25% retaliatory duties imposed in response to Section 301 tariffs.
  • July pork exports to Japan were 28,745 mt, down 8% from a year ago, valued at $116.9 million (down 15%). Through July, exports to Japan were 9% below last year’s pace in both volume (218,288 mt) and value ($911.7 million). Japan’s imports of chilled U.S. pork have been somewhat volatile, reflecting ongoing shipping obstacles. For January through July, chilled U.S. volume was down 5% from last year while imports of chilled Canadian pork were down 8% and imports from Mexico increased 59%. Devaluation of the Japanese yen, which recently reached its the lowest point since 1998, is also changing the market dynamics as it is now easier to clear Japan’s gate price.
  • July pork export value equated to $67.10 per head slaughtered, the highest in 12 months and down just 3 cents from a year ago. The January-July average was $59.31 per head, down 10%. Exports accounted for 29.3% of total July pork production and 24.7% for muscle cuts, down only slightly from last year (30% and 25.2%, respectively). The January-July ratios were 26.8% and 23.6%, down from 30.7% and 27.1% in the first seven months of 2021.

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