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US Pork Exports Lower in July

08 September 2017

US - July pork export volume dipped below its year-ago level for the first time in 15 months, with export value also down slightly, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by USMEF.

Pork exports totaled 173,675 mt in July, down 4 per cent year-over-year, valued at $488.9 million, down 0.6 per cent. January-July volume was still up 11 per cent from a year ago to 1.43 million mt, while export value was up 13 per cent to $3.7 billion.

Exports accounted for 26 per cent of total pork production in July (down from 27.5 per cent a year ago) and 21 per cent for muscle cuts only (down from 23 per cent). For the first seven months of the year, with US production at a record pace, the percentage of total production exported increased from 25.6 per cent to 27.5 per cent.

For muscle cuts only, the increase was from 21.6 per cent to 23 per cent. Export value per head slaughtered in July was $54.22 – up slightly from June but 3 per cent below last July. The January-July per-head average increased 10 per cent from a year ago to $54.11.

"July was certainly a solid month, especially for beef exports, but these results remind us that the US red meat industry operates in an intensely competitive global environment," said USMEF CEO Philip Seng.

"At a time when some of our most essential trade agreements are under review, we must be mindful of how these agreements have helped make US beef, pork and lamb more readily available and more affordable for millions of global customers, to the benefit of US producers and everyone in the US supply chain."

July pork exports slip despite powerful growth in Mexico, Korea, South America

Pork exports to Mexico remained on pace for a sixth consecutive annual volume record, with July volume up 7 per cent from a year ago to 58,625 mt and value increasing 9 per cent to $122.9 million.

Through July, exports increased 20 per cent in volume (457,190 mt) and 26 per cent in value ($854.4 million). Both the US and domestic pork industries continue to reap the benefits of Mexico’s rapidly growing per capita pork consumption, which has increased by about one-third over the past 10 years to 18 kilograms annually (based on USDA estimates).

Leading pork value market Japan saw a year-over-year decline in July, as exports dipped 7 per cent in both volume (28,314 mt) and value ($120.5 million). Through July, exports to Japan remained modestly higher year-over-year in both volume (228,489 mt, up 2 per cent) and value ($931.1 million, up 6 per cent). This included chilled pork exports of 122,755 mt (down 3 per cent) valued at $577 million (up 3 per cent), as Canada continues to compete strongly for Japan’s high-value chilled pork market.

Other January-July highlights for US pork exports included:

  • In South Korea, pork exports continued to capitalize on strong red meat consumption growth, especially for convenience products and home meal replacement items, as exports to Korea climbed 30 per cent in volume (103,142 mt) and 36 per cent in value ($282.6 million).

  • Led by strong growth in Colombia and Chile, pork exports to South America more than doubled year-over year in both volume (56,345, up 104 per cent) and value ($143.6 million, up 109 per cent). The White House recently announced that Argentina will soon open to US pork, adding further opportunities in this growing region.

  • Led by Honduras, exports to Central America are on a record pace, reaching 38,720 mt, up 6 per cent from a year ago, valued at $92.4 million (up 8 per cent). 2017 is also shaping up as a record year for pork exports to the Dominican Republic, where exports totaled 21,278 mt (up 42 per cent) valued at $47.8 million (up 49 per cent).

  • Strong growth in the Philippines fueled a 24 per cent increase (to 26,710 mt) in pork exports to the ASEAN region, valued at $68.8 million (up 34 per cent). Exports also increased to Singapore and were steady to Vietnam.

  • In the China/Hong Kong region, July exports dropped significantly from a year ago to 32,167 mt (down 33 per cent) valued at $68.8 million (down 27 per cent). July variety meat exports were the smallest in 18 months at 22,960 mt (down 10 per cent). As China’s domestic pork production continues to rebound in 2017, January-July exports to the region were 8 per cent below last year’s pace in volume (306,404 mt) but slipped just 1 per cent in value ($627.1 million).

ThePigSite News Desk

Top image via Shutterstock



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