March pork exports were the largest in 11 months at 195,898 mt, up 3 percent year-over-year. First-quarter exports reached 534,321 mt, up 2 percent. March export value ($480.4 million) was down 3 percent from a year ago but the highest since May 2015. First-quarter export value totaled $1.3 billion, 9 percent below last year’s pace.
“Exports showed an encouraging level of improvement in March, especially to our key Asian markets,” said USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng. “The U.S. pork industry is now better positioned to capitalize on strong demand in China. Pork exports to Japan were also higher, though we are still in a very tough battle for market share as Japan’s imports from Europe increased at a faster pace."
- March pork exports to the China/Hong Kong region were 50,695 mt, up 80 percent from a year ago and the largest volume since December 2011. For the first quarter, exports to China/Hong Kong increased 83 percent in volume (124,231 mt) and 54 percent in value ($233.7 million).
- Japan’s pork imports from all suppliers showed renewed momentum in March, which helped boost U.S. exports to Japan above year-ago levels for the first time this year. For the first quarter, exports to Japan were still lower year-over-year in both volume (94,982 mt, -9 percent) and value ($363.2 million, -6 percent).
- For the first quarter, exports to Mexico were down 11 percent (159,947 mt) and 18 percent ($262.7 million), respectively.
- First-quarter exports to Canada were down 3 percent from a year ago in volume (47,510 mt) and 9 percent lower in value ($174.2 million).
- Driven by strong growth in the Philippines, first-quarter exports to the ASEAN region increased 2 percent in volume (9,658 mt) and 1 percent in value ($21.1 million). Exports to the Philippines were up 10 percent (8,007 mt) and 18 percent (17,021 mt), respectively.
- First-quarter pork exports to Central America were also higher in both volume (15,491 mt, +24 percent) and value ($35.5 million, +9 percent), led by strong growth in Honduras and Guatemala.
- First-quarter exports equated to 24 percent of total pork production and 20 percent for muscle cuts only – both steady with last year.
Thursday May 5, 2016/ USMEF/ United States.