US pork exports strong to begin 2024 - USDA ERS

Pork exports up 6% over last year
calendar icon 5 June 2024
clock icon 2 minute read

US pork exports in January 2024 were about 588 million pounds, almost 6% higher than a year ago, according to the most recent USDA Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook report.

As has become customary, shipments to Mexico lead the pack, with 236 million pounds, up 3.2% from last year. It is notable that in January 40% of US exports went to Mexico. 

The next-largest buyer of US pork in January, Japan, accounted for 15% of exports, less than 40% of Mexico’s share. In total, more than half of US pork exports in January were attributable to Western Hemisphere nations. 

Asia accounted for less than one-third of exports in January, with South Korea standing out, buying almost 52% more US pork than a year ago. Data issued by the Government of South Korea shows that import demand, strong in 2023, began 2024 with more than 11 thousand tons of pork exports from the United States, almost 28% higher than a year ago. 

Most EU member States exported lower volumes to South Korea in January, with the exception of Spain and the Netherlands. Mostly lower EU exports are probably due to higher production costs, which at this time mostly boil down—directly and indirectly—to higher energy costs. 

US exports to the 10 largest foreign buyers of US pork in January are listed in the table below, accompanied by country shares of January’s US exports.

On the strength of higher January shipments, first-quarter exports are raised 30 million pounds to 1.795 billion pounds, 7.6% higher than a year earlier. 

Second-quarter exports are expected to be 1.795 billion pounds, 10 million pounds more than last month and about 1% higher than second-quarter 2023. The third-quarter export forecast is unchanged from last month at 1.645 billion pounds, 6.6% higher than in the same period of last year. The fourth-quarter forecast is raised 10 million pounds to 1.895 billion pounds, almost 4% higher than same-period shipments in 2023. 

Total US pork exports for 2024 are expected to be 7.130 billion pounds, about 4.6% higher than exports in 2023.

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