Growth in Japan, Korea and the Caribbean boosts U.S. pork exports

Growth in Japan, Korea and the Caribbean boosts U.S. pork exports

Pork exports again dominated by Mexico


November 24, 2022

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4 minute read

September pork exports were again led by Mexico, although shipments fell below the previous year’s volume for the first time since the start of 2021. September exports totaled 76,084 tonnes, down 4.5%, but the value of exports still rose 25% to $176.4 million, according to a report by the US Meat Export Federation. In the first three quarters of the year, exports to Mexico remained at a record pace at 696,802 metric tons, up 12% from a year ago, while the value increased 15 % to reach $1.42 billion. Demand was supported by a very stable Mexican peso, which remained relatively stable from levels a year ago against the US dollar.

Pork exports to Japan rebounded in September to 31,008 metric tons, up 7% from a year ago, while the value rose 1% to $130 million. These totals were achieved despite the historic devaluation of the yen, which increased the cost of Japanese imports of all commodities, including food and energy. From January to September, exports to Japan were 8% lower than last year’s pace at 276,294 metric tons, while the value fell 10% to $1.15 billion.

Pork exports to South Korea in September rose 40% from last year’s low volume to 12,284 tonnes, while the value rose 39% to $43.1 million. That pushed January-September totals to 132,971 tonnes, up 4% from a year ago, while the value rose 11% to $467.2 million. Korea recently opened a 70,000 tonne duty-free quota for imported pork, but the competitive landscape has not changed drastically as imports from the United States, European Union and Chile are already entering in Korea without customs duty. This decision mainly benefited Canadian pork, which is priced at 8.6% chilled and 9.6% frozen. Mexico and Brazil are also present in the Korean pork market, with imports normally subject to the most favored nation (MFN) rate of 25%, but eligible for duty-free entry under the quota. .

Other January-September results for U.S. pork exports include:

  • Demand for U.S. pork – especially pork – continues to pick up momentum in China/Hong Kong. September exports to the region totaled 51,036 metric tons, up 12% from a year ago, while the value of exports climbed 18% to $122.5 million. Most of the increase was in mixed meats, which reached 33,113 tonnes – down from the record total reached in August, but still up 17% from a year ago. September muscle cuts exports rose 3% to 17,923 tonnes. From January to September, total exports to China/Hong Kong were 40% lower than last year, at 374,458 tons, with mixed meats accounting for 62% of the volume. The value fell 33% to $972.6 million.
  • Led by record shipments to the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas and the Leeward Islands, pork exports to the Caribbean hit a record pace through September at 71,147 tonnes, up 32% from a year ago. a year old, worth $197.8 million (up 36%). Exports to the Dominican Republic reached 5,609 tonnes in September, up 34% from a year ago and the highest since June. January-September exports to the Dominican Republic totaled 58,638 tonnes, up 38% from a year ago, while the value rose 40% to $152.9 million. The Dominican Republic suspended import duties on red meat and poultry in June, increasing competition in the pork market – mainly from Canada, but British, Spanish and Chilean pork imports have also increase. The decree suspending import duties from the DR is set to expire in December, which will subject imports from these suppliers to the 25% MFN rate and the United States will again be the only major supplier of pork with access DR duty free.
  • Pork exports to Colombia are also at a record pace in 2022. September shipments to Colombia were up 9% from a year ago to 8,625 tonnes, while the value increased 10 % to reach $22.6 million. Through September, exports exceeded last year’s pace by 10% in volume (78,127 mt) and 9% in value ($185.6 million).
  • September pork exports to the ASEAN region hit 4,380 tons, up 25% from a year ago, while value rose 42% to $12.6 million . The Philippines accounted for most of this growth, but exports also increased to Vietnam. From January to September, exports to the region were still 50% lower than last year at 39,812 metric tons, valued at $115.2 million (down 45%).
  • Led by stronger demand in China and Hong Kong, global U.S. pork exports totaled 48,202 tonnes in September, up 8% from a year ago, while the value of exports increased by 5% to $105.9 million. Besides China and Hong Kong, September exports increased year-on-year to the Philippines, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Korea, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Through September, pork exports fell last year by 9% in volume (370,961 tons) and 5% in value ($904.9 million).
  • The value of pork exports in September was equivalent to $62.37 per head slaughtered, up 10% from a year ago. The January-September average was $59.74 per head, down 7%. Exports accounted for 27.3% of total pork production in September, down from 26.9% a year ago, while the ratio for muscle cuts was stable at 23.1% last year. The January-September ratios were 26.9% and 23.4%, compared to 30% and 26.4%, respectively, in the first nine months of 2021.


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