US pork exports to Mexico remain strong


Trade between the two countries continues to climb to new heights.

Posted on May 11 ,03:13

US pork exports to Mexico remain strong

US pork exports have dropped compared to the first quarter of 2021 but there are some markets that reported new heights in trade, with Mexico leading the top. March pork exports were 222,581 tonnes, the largest since November but nearly 25% below the record volume achieved a year ago. Export value was $615.3 million, also the highest since November but down 23% year-over-year. First-quarter pork exports fell 20% from a year ago to 629,928 tonnes, valued at $1.71 billion (down 17%).

“While pork exports were down significantly from last year’s record, we saw some encouraging trends in the March results. US pork commanded a higher price per pound than a year ago, with outstanding demand from Mexico and value growth in key markets such as South Korea and the Dominican Republic. The stronger US dollar creates more price pressure in some destinations, but this will be offset to some degree by the narrowing price gap between US and European pork,” commented Dan Halstrom, USMEF CEO and President.
Following a record year in 2021, pork exports to Mexico continue to climb to new heights. March exports reached 82,348 tonnes, up 24% from a year ago, with value increasing 14% to $149 million. First-quarter exports to Mexico soared 30% to 243,314 tonnes, valued at $404.2 million (up 17%). While a large percentage of US pork shipments to Mexico are bone-in hams and other cuts destined for further processing, the US industry has also made impressive gains in Mexico’s retail and foodservice sectors.

Demand for US pork continues to strengthen in the Dominican Republic, where domestic production has slowed due to the presence of African swine fever (ASF). March exports increased 7% from a year ago to a record 7,038 tonnes, valued at $17.9 million (up 15%). First-quarter exports to this destination also increased 7% to 22,416 tonnes, with value up 12% to $45.6 million.
Pork exports to South Korea continue to trend higher in value, increasing 14% from a year ago to $154.4 million, driven in part by strong retail demand for convenience-based items and chilled pork cuts. Export volume to Korea fell 6% from a year ago to 43,950 tonnes. Korea’s first-quarter imports of chilled US pork were up 29% in volume (2,642 tonnes) and climbed 57% in value to $18.3 million.
On the other hand, the largest drop in pork exports for Q1 was reported in China/Hong Kong in both volume (104,286 tonnes, down 56%) and value ($279.2 million, down 48%). The region is still the dominant destination for US pork variety meat, although demand for these items slowed in the first quarter of 2022. China’s zero-COVID policies have added tremendous costs and in some cases led to restricted sales of imported cold chain food, affecting pork shipments from all foreign suppliers.

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