USMEF: Another record month for pork exports to Mexico


U.S. pork exports posted another strong performance in October, led by record-large shipments to Mexico and broad-based growth elsewhere, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

Posted on Dec 11 ,00:05

USMEF: Another record month for pork exports to Mexico

October pork exports totaled 245,345 metric tons (mt), up 3% year-over-year and the largest since June, valued at $688.2 million – down 2% from a year ago. For the first 10 months of 2023, pork exports increased 9% from a year ago to 2.38 million mt, with value up 6% to $6.66 billion. 

"At a time when the U.S. pork industry needs to maximize revenue, I run out of superlatives when talking about the remarkable demand we are seeing in Mexico,” said USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “Pork exports are also achieving excellent growth across the Western Hemisphere and retaking market share in the Asia-Pacific".

Pork exports to leading market Mexico reached a record 100,867 mt, soaring 19% from a year ago, while value climbed 9% to a record $221.1 million. January-October shipments to Mexico increased 13% over last year’s record pace to 895,221 mt, with value up 16% to $1.9 billion. Pork muscle cut exports to Mexico were record-large in October at nearly 87,000 mt, which equated to 10.7% of U.S. production. Through October, pork muscle cut exports were up 11% from last year’s record pace at 763,159 mt. Variety meat exports accelerated at an even faster pace – climbing 29% to 132,062 mt, valued at $248.6 million (up 38%), led by larger shipments of chilled variety meats and frozen stomachs.     

October pork exports to Colombia totaled 10,856 mt, up 35% from a year ago and the largest since June 2022. Export value climbed 42% to $30.4 million, the highest since November 2021 and third highest on record. While January-October exports to Colombia remained 11% below last year at 76,402 mt, export value edged 1% higher to $207.9 million. 

Led by record shipments to Guatemala and robust growth in Honduras, Costa Rica and El Salvador, pork exports to Central America continued to gain momentum in October, soaring 35% from a year ago in volume (13,722 mt) and 37% in value ($42.2 million). January-October exports to the region were 12% higher at 102,783 mt, while value increased 18% to $301 million. 

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

  • October exports to South Korea totaled 13,427 mt, up 6% from a year ago and the largest since June, while value was up 5% to $46.8 million. Through the first 10 months of the year, exports to Korea increased 3% to 149,943 mt, though value fell 4% to $493.7 million. U.S. pork has recently faced increased competition from Canadian, Mexican and Brazilian pork entering Korea under zero-duty tariff rate quotas (U.S. pork is duty-free under the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement), but the U.S. industry continues to capitalize on growth opportunities in the home meal replacement and restaurant meal replacement sectors.    
  • Pork exports to the Dominican Republic are on a record pace in 2023, climbing 23% through October to 81,050 mt, with value up 27% to $223.2 million. October shipments to the Dominican Republic totaled 8,532 mt, the highest since April.  Brazil recently gained access to the market and reported exports totaled 325 mt in October and 1,841 mt in November. With exports also rebounding strongly to Trinidad and Tobago and increasing to the Netherlands Antilles and Leeward-Windward Islands, shipments to the Caribbean region jumped 22% to 98,264 mt, valued at $283.3 million (up 25%). 
  • With pork shipments increasing sharply to Australia and more than doubling to New Zealand, January-October exports to Oceania increased 82% to 63,607 mt, valued at $224.5 million (up 66%). While most exports to this region are raw material used for further processing, valued-added processed products from the U.S. are also popular in the retail and foodservice sectors. 
  • Pork exports to Japan are trending lower in 2023, including a 15% decline in October to 24,080 mt. For January through October, exports to Japan fell 6% from a year ago to 288,447 mt, valued at $1.17 billion (down 7%). 
  • While pork muscle cut exports to China/Hong Kong are also trending lower (down 9% through October to 149,144 mt), pork variety meat exports to the region remain 4% above last year’s record pace at 280,682 mt, valued at $720.4 million (up 6%). 
  • In addition to the above-mentioned growth in Mexico and China/Hong Kong, pork variety meat exports have also accelerated to the Philippines, Vietnam, Chile, Peru, the Caribbean and Taiwan. Global exports of U.S. pork variety meat are on a record pace through October, increasing 12% year-over-year to 487,171 mt, valued at $1.15 billion (up 10%). 
  • Pork export value equated to $60.21 per head slaughtered in October, down 6% from a year ago, but the January-October average was 4% higher at $62.79. Exports accounted for 28.2% of total October pork production – down slightly from a year ago – and 24.3% for muscle cuts only, up about one percentage point. The January-October ratios were 29.3% of total production and 25.1% for muscle cuts, up from 27.2% and 23.5%, respectively, a year ago. 

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