Pork Exports Remain Strong
Source: U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF)
January 7, 2022
Pork exports totaled 237,547 mt in November, down 8% from a year ago, while value was 6% lower at $658.3 million. Through November, export volume fell slightly below the record pace of 2020 at 2.71 million mt. Export value was $7.5 billion, up 7% from a year ago and rapidly approaching the annual record ($7.71 billion) set in 2020.
“With one month of results still to be tabulated, it’s very gratifying to see red meat exports setting new annual records and achieving remarkable growth over a wide range of markets,” said USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “It is important, however, that we do not take this success for granted or allow it to detract from the challenges facing U.S. agriculture. Global demand for U.S. red meat has never been stronger, but labor and transportation obstacles and high input costs across the supply chain make it increasingly difficult to satisfy this demand. USMEF greatly appreciates the effort by lawmakers, maritime regulators and other officials to address the persistent congestion at U.S. ports, but this continues to be a costly and frustrating situation for U.S. exporters and their international customers.”
Record-large shipments to Mexico and Central America bolster U.S. pork exports
Pork exports to Mexico continued to gain momentum in November at 87,440 mt, up 34% from a year ago, with value up 23% to $152.1 million. Through November, exports to Mexico totaled 794,597 mt, up 29% and just short of the annual record achieved in 2017 (802,000 mt). Export value has already set a new annual record at $1.54 billion, up 51% from a year ago.
Demand for U.S. pork continues to surge in Central America, where exports had already set new annual volume and value records through October. In November, led by strong growth in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Costa Rica, exports climbed 30% to 13,887 mt, valued at $39.8 million (up 49%). For January through November, exports to the region jumped 45% from a year ago to 124,879 mt, while value was 62% higher at $339.2 million.
Following a difficult year in 2020, pork exports to Colombia have rebounded strongly, surpassing the pre-COVID pace of 2019. November exports to Colombia totaled 14,094 mt, up 85% from a year ago, while value climbed 94% to $34.2 million. Through November, exports increased 62% from a year ago to 96,751 mt, valued at $235.3 million (up 81% and a new annual record).
Other January-November highlights for U.S. pork exports include:
· Due in part to surging retail demand for chilled U.S. pork, exports to Korea regained momentum in 2021. Through November, exports increased 7% from a year ago to 152,309 mt, while value climbed 22% to $502.8 million.
· While November pork exports to Japan were down slightly from a year ago at 32,844 mt, value edged slightly higher to $146.7 million. Through November, exports to Japan were 3% above last year’s pace at 362,501 mt, with value up 4% to $1.55 billion. Exports of chilled pork to Japan were up 4% to 197,177 mt, valued at $963 million.
· Led by strong growth in the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas, pork exports to the Caribbean increased 32% to 68,555 mt, valued at $187.1 million (up 53%). Exports to the DR have been especially strong, climbing 71% in value to $138 million.
· Although pork shipments to the Philippines have trended lower in recent months, exports still reached new heights in 2021. With lower tariff rates on imported pork muscle cuts as a contributing factor, January-November exports to the Philippines climbed 79% from a year ago to 76,409 mt, with value nearly doubling to $198.5 million (up 91%).
· As expected, total pork exports to China will finish 2021 significantly lower than a year ago. But even as its domestic pork production rebounds, China’s demand for U.S. pork variety meat has strengthened, with exports through November up 29% from a year ago to 306,753 mt, valued at $746.4 million (up 31%). With pork variety meat shipments also trending higher to Mexico, the Philippines, Korea and Japan, global variety meat exports increased 14% from a year ago to 487,006 mt, valued at $1.14 billion (up 21%).
· Pork export value per head slaughtered equated to $59.11 in November, down 7% from a year ago, but the January-November average was still 9% higher at $63.63. November exports accounted for 27.4% of total pork production, down from nearly 30% a year ago, while the percentage of muscle cuts exported was 24.6% (down from 27%). The January-November export ratios were 29.8% of total pork production (up from 29.3% in 2020) and 26.3% for muscle cuts (down from 26.6%).
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