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United States pork exports start year strong

The United States Department of Agriculture recently compiled January trade data. Data indicates strong United States pork exports heading into 2018. A National Pork Board (NPB) representative evaluates January’s statistics.

Craig Morris serves as vice president of international marketing for NPB. Morris highlights growth in the United States pork market throughout January.

“Pork and pork variety exports were greater than 203,000 metric tonnes,” Morris said. “That’s about four-tenths of a percent over January 2017. (They were) worth $546 million dollars, up seven-percent over a year ago.”

“Breaking that down – muscle cuts accounted for 164,000 metric tonnes, up five-percent over a year ago. (They were) worth $454 million, up nine-percent over a year ago,” Morris said. “Pork variety meat exports were 39,000 metric tonnes, down 16%. They were worth about $91.5 million dollars which is up two-percent. A lot less volume of meat variety exports, but up by value.”

Morris says United States pork muscle exports recorded the second highest January total.

“Japan was up 13%, Korea up 14%, China – Hong Kong up 10%, Central America up 18% and Australia/New Zealand up 9%,” Morris said. “Although exports to our top volume market – Mexico – were up only one-percent year over year, it’s actually set a record for the month.”

Mexico remains a strong market for U.S. pork, with modest year-over-year growth. 

“With that being a larger export month, we had 59,000 metric tons of pork muscle cuts to Mexico in January,” Morris said. “Exports to Korea set a record for the month at 17,000 metric tons, up over 2,000 metric tons from last January. Which was also the previous record month. Exports to Japan and China both the highest we’ve had since 2014.”

Colombia also purchased a record amount of United States pork products in January. The National Pork Board plans to invest in the Colombian market and capture additional trade opportunities.