U.S. pork exports in 2013 were bolstered by solid growth to both Mexico and the Central/South America region. In fact, U.S. pork exports posted their strongest month of 2013 in November, according to the latest USDA statistics.
“While exports to Asian countries are still very significant, marketing, promotion and research efforts in many other markets have proven to keep U.S. pork exports strong,” said Brian Zimmerman, who chairs the Pork Checkoff’s International Trade Committee. “Mexico remains the top volume market for U.S. pork, but exports have already set a new annual record with strong growth in Colombia, Chile and Honduras.”
While Latin American countries have been strong markets, other markets have proved more complicated. Market access and political, non-science barriers to imports in some countries have created significant restrictions of exports.
“The export challenges this year have been mainly centered around high domestic supplies in importing countries and market access issues,” said Becca Hendricks, assistant vice president of international marketing for the Pork Checkoff. “We continue to monitor these issues.”
Export Value Rises
U.S. pork exports in November of 2013 totaled 192,657 metric tons valued at $550.7 million. Exports equated to 26 percent of total pork and pork variety meat production.
The export value per head was $57.07 for pork in November of 2013, an increase of $1.09 versus the previous year at this time.
The markets that posted the most growth in November of 2013 (as compared to November of 2012) included:
• Central/South America: 15,882 metric tons (up 58 percent) valued at $42.3 million (up 76 percent)
• Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN): 5,831 metric tons (up 25 percent) valued at $12.4 million (up 10 percent)
• Caribbean: 4,281 metric tons (up 18 percent) valued at $11.2 million (up 23 percent)
• Mexico: 58,678 metric tons (up 16 percent) valued at $124.3 million (up 26 percent)
• China and Hong Kong: 35,304 metric tons (down 8 percent) valued at $81.2 million (down 2 percent). However, volumes to Hong Kong alone were up 35 percent
• Japan, the No. 1 export market for U.S. pork for the year: 34,356 metric tons (down 2 percent) valued at $151.5 million (down 7 percent)
• Canada: 20,074 metric tons (down 10 percent) valued at $73.2 million (down 9 percent)
• South Korea: 10,086 metric tons (down 32 percent) valued at $28.7 million (down 26 percent)
The Pork Checkoff continues to partner with the U.S. Meat Export Federation to find new ways to promote U.S. pork around the globe in 2014.
“These investments strengthen U.S. pork’s image and help position it as a wholesome, desirable product,” Zimmerman said.