US - US red meat exports gained momentum in May with shipments of both beef and pork increasing significantly year-over-year and reaching 2016 highs, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by USMEF.
Pork exports reached 199,193 mt in May, up 8 per cent from a year ago, while export value increased 3 per cent to $501.7 million. Both totals were the highest since April 2015.
For January through to May, pork export volume was 1 per cent ahead of last year’s pace, whilst value was down 6 per cent.
China’s demand for US pork remained strong
May pork exports to China/Hong Kong were the largest since 2011 and the third-largest on record at 58,007 mt, up 85 per cent from a year ago, while value climbed 87 per cent to $111.1 million.
“The US industry, as well as the other major pork exporters, has certainly benefited from the shortfall in China’s domestic production,” said USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng.
“However, falling hog prices in China suggest that demand for imported pork could begin to cool, so it was vitally important that exports to other key markets also gained momentum in May.”
Although outpaced by China/Hong Kong in May, Mexico usually ranks as the leading volume destination for US pork. May exports to Mexico were the largest in six months and up 7 per cent from a year ago.
Other markets in which US pork posted strong performances in May included Australia, the Philippines and Honduras.
January-May exports to Japan were down 15 per cent from a year ago in volume and dipped 13 per cent in value, due to a decline in frozen exports, while exports of chilled US pork to Japan are on a record pace in 2016.
“The primary focus of our promotional efforts in Japan is on chilled cuts, which is where the US industry can derive the strongest returns in this highly competitive market,” Mr Seng explained.
ThePigSite News Desk