Pork exports totaled 2.45 million mt in 2017, breaking the 2016 record by 6 percent. Export value was $6.49 billion – up 9 percent year-over-year and the second-highest on record, trailing only 2014 ($6.65 billion).
Pork exports accounted for 26.6 percent of total production in 2017 and 22.3 percent for muscle cuts only, each up nearly a full percentage point from a year ago. Pork export value averaged $53.47 per head slaughtered, up 6 percent from 2016.
Other 2017 pork export highlights include:
- Exports to leading value market Japan increased 2 percent in volume (393,648 mt) and 4 percent in value ($1.63 billion). Chilled pork export volume to Japan was down slightly to 217,857 mt, while value was up 4 percent to $1.03 billion. Similar to beef, market access to Japan is a growing concern for the U.S. pork industry as trade barriers for Canadian, Mexican and Chilean pork will be reduced under CPTPP and the European Union will soon finalize an economic partnership agreement with Japan.
- Exports to Korea soared 28 percent in volume to 173,182 mt, valued at $475 million – up 30 percent year-over-year and the second-highest on record (exports reached $497 million in 2011, when Korea was in recovery from a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak). Korea’s pork consumption set another new record in 2017 and demand has been fueled in part by a growing preference for protein-centric convenience foods and home meal replacement items. Most U.S. pork now enters Korea duty-free under KORUS.
- Booming demand in Colombia and Chile and a growing presence for U.S. pork in Peru fueled a record performance in South America, where exports were up 57 percent in volume (103,987 mt) and 58 percent in value ($268 million). Most U.S. pork entering South America is destined for further processing, but USMEF continues to make inroads in the retail sector and with U.S.-origin processed products. Exports to the region could gain further momentum in 2018, when Argentina is expected to reopen to U.S. pork and as pork consumption continues to grow in existing markets.
- Pork exports to Central America were also record-large in 2017 at 73,891 mt (up 6 percent), valued at $179.8 million (up 8 percent), led by solid growth in mainstay markets Honduras and Guatemala. Exports to the Dominican Republic also set a new record, with volume up 20 percent to 30,803 mt and value increasing 26 percent to $71.1 million.
- Despite being limited to processed products and raw material destined for further processing, exports to Australia set a new volume record at 70,985 mt (up 12 percent) and climbed 17 percent in value to $208.3 million. Australia is an especially important destination for U.S. hams.
- Strong growth in the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam pushed exports to the ASEAN region up 15 percent in volume (47,725 mt) and 30 percent in value ($128.2 million).
- China/Hong was the second-largest volume destination for U.S. pork at 495,637 mt. This was down 9 percent from a year ago as China’s total imports decreased, reflecting a rebound in domestic production. However, export value was up slightly from 2016 at $1.08 billion. The region is the largest destination for U.S. pork variety meat, with 2017 exports up 2 percent in volume to 321,116 mt. The value of these exports climbed 16 percent to $741.8 million, as variety meat exports to China/Hong Kong accounted for an average of $6.12 per U.S. hog slaughtered.
- On a global basis, U.S. pork variety meat exports were up 4 percent to 543,973 mt, while export value was up 17 percent and easily the highest on record at $1.17 billion, averaging a record $9.67 for every hog processed.
Wednesday February 7, 2018/ USMEF/ United States.