New Volume Record for US Pork

US - US pork and beef exports wrapped up an excellent 2016 performance with very strong December results, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by USMEF.
calendar icon 10 February 2017
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Pork export volume reached a record 2.31 million metric tons (mt) in 2016, up 8 per cent year-over-year and 2 per cent above the previous high in 2012. Export value increased 7 per cent from a year ago to $5.94 billion. December pork exports totaled 222,635 mt, up 18 per cent year-over-year, valued at $564.2 million, up 20 per cent.

Exports accounted for 25.8 per cent of total 2016 pork production and 21.5 per cent for muscle cuts – up from 24.2 per cent and 20.8 per cent, respectively, in 2015. December ratios were 28 per cent for total production and 23 per cent for muscle cuts only – up significantly from December 2015. Export value per head slaughtered averaged $50.20 in 2016, up 4 per cent from the previous year. The December average was $56.06, up 24 per cent.

Pork to Mexico sets fifth straight volume record; China/Hong Kong also record-large

A remarkable second half pushed 2016 pork export volume to Mexico to its fifth consecutive record at 730,316 mt – breaking the previous record by 2 per cent. Export value to Mexico totaled $1.36 billion, up 7 per cent year-over-year and the second-highest on record, trailing only the $1.56 billion mark reached in 2014.

“At this time of record-large pork production, it would be hard to overstate the importance of Mexican demand to the US industry,” said Philip Seng, USMEF President and CEO. “This is especially true for hams, as we are locked out of Russia – once a large destination for US hams – and China’s demand for imported hams has moderated in recent months. So now more than ever, we need strong demand from our key customers in Mexico, and they have responded with extraordinary results. December exports to Mexico accounted for nearly $16 per head, and that’s absolutely critical to the entire US pork supply chain.”

Though down from the high levels seen earlier in the year, December pork exports to China/Hong Kong were still up 40 per cent year-over-year in volume (47,242 mt) and 42 per cent higher in value ($96 million). For the full year, exports to China/Hong set a new volume record of 544,943 mt (up 61 per cent) and broke the $1 billion mark for the first time ($1.07 billion, up 53 per cent).

Other 2016 highlights for US pork exports include:

  • Japan remained the leading value destination for US pork, though exports fell 5 per cent in volume (387,712 mt) and 2 per cent in value ($1.56 billion) compared to 2015. However, chilled exports to Japan set a new record of 218,211 mt, up 8 per cent.

  • Led by a record performance in Central America and a fourth-quarter surge in Colombia and Chile, exports to the Central/South America region increased 11 per cent in volume (135,954 mt) and 9 per cent in value ($334.5 million).

  • Pork shipments increased to both Australia and New Zealand, as export volume to Oceania reached 69,963 mt (up 10 per cent) valued at $197.3 million (up 3 per cent).

  • Exports to the Dominican Republic set another record in 2016, topping the previous year’s totals by 10 per cent in volume (25,591 mt) and 6 per cent in value ($56.4 million).

  • Fueled by increases in China/Hong Kong and Canada and steady exports to Mexico, pork variety meat exports jumped 20 per cent in volume to 523,199 mt and 24 per cent in value to $999 million – just short of the record levels reached in 2014.

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