Record value for pork variety meat highlights US May export growth - USMEF

Pork exports up 24% from a year ago
calendar icon 25 July 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

US pork exports to leading market Mexico remained on a record-shattering pace in May, soaring 21% from a year ago to 96,811 mt and climbing 16% in value to $198.9 million, according to a recent news release from the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF). This pushed January-May export volume to 447,081 mt, up 13% from a year ago, while value increased 24% to $890.1 million. 

While most pork shipments to Mexico are muscle cuts – either for further processing or as featured items in Mexico’s retail and foodservice sectors – Mexico’s demand for pork variety meat has also strengthened this year. Through May, variety meat shipments increased 46% to 64,232 mt, valued at $111.4 million (up 40%).

May pork exports to South Korea totalled 21,182 mt, up 25% from a year ago. Export value increased 21% to $73.4 million, the highest in more than five years and the fourth highest on record. Through May, exports to Korea climbed 15% year-over-year to 87,577 mt, valued at $283.5 million (up 6%). US pork, which enters Korea at zero duty under the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement, has achieved this growth despite an influx of Canadian, Mexican and Brazilian pork, which have benefited from Korea’s recent implementation of duty-free import quotas. Korea’s January-May imports of pork from the EU were down 23%, and this decline was not fully offset by strong growth from the US, Canada, Mexico and Brazil.

As noted above, exports of pork variety meat reached a record $127 million in May, up 24% from a year ago. Export volume was 51,826 mt, up 27% and the ninth largest on record. January-May variety exports are on a record pace, soaring 35% above last year’s pace to 246,856 mt, with value up 24% to $585.6 million. China remains the leading destination for US pork variety meat, but 2023 export growth has also been driven by Mexico, the ASEAN, Canada, South America and the Caribbean.

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