For January through August, combined pork and pork variety meat exports remained 1 percent ahead of last year’s record pace at 1.63 million mt, while value increased 3 percent to $4.32 billion. For pork muscle cuts only, exports increased 6 percent from a year ago in volume (1.31 million mt) and 4 percent in value ($3.58 billion).
Exports equaled 26.3 percent of total pork production (down from 26.9 percent a year ago), while the percentage of muscle cuts exported was 22.8 percent (up from 22.4 percent). Pork export value averaged $44.29 per head slaughtered in August, down 8 percent from a year ago, while the January-August per-head average dropped 1 percent to $53.28.
U.S. pork currently faces retaliatory duties in two markets: China and Mexico. China’s duty rate on pork muscle cuts and variety meat increased from 12 to 37 percent in April and from 37 to 62 percent in July. Mexico’s duty rate on pork muscle cuts increased from zero to 10 percent in June and jumped to 20 percent in July (pork variety meats continue to enter Mexico duty-free). Beginning in June, Mexico also imposed a 15 percent duty on sausages and a 20 percent duty on some prepared or preserved hams and shoulders.
“Pork exports have posted an impressive performance in 2018, but the retaliatory duties are a clearly a significant obstacle,” Halstrom explained. “The fact that U.S. trade officials were able to secure duty-free access for U.S. red meat in the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement is critically important, and we are hopeful that duty-free access for U.S. pork entering Mexico will be restored soon. Tariff relief in China may not come as quickly, but USMEF continues to work with industry partners to keep as much product as possible moving to China while also working aggressively to expand exports in other key markets, including Korea, Central and South America, the ASEAN region and Australia.”
January-August highlights for U.S. pork exports include:
- Led by strong growth in Colombia and Peru, exports to South America increased 29 percent from a year ago in volume (82,153 mt) and 24 percent in value ($204.4 million). A slow start to the year kept exports to Chile below last year’s record volume pace, but shipments regained momentum in July and August.
- Following a record performance in 2017, pork exports to Central America surged 20 percent higher in volume (52,528 mt) and increased 17 percent in value ($123.8 million). Pork exports to all seven Central American nations have achieved double-digit growth in 2018.
- Exports to the Dominican Republic continue to gain momentum, increasing 30 percent in volume (29,480 mt) and 25 percent in value ($64.5 million).
- Led by strong growth in the Philippines and Vietnam, exports to the ASEAN region increased 29 percent in volume (39,021 mt) and 28 percent in value ($100.1 million). The ASEAN is an especially important destination for pork variety meat, with these exports nearly doubling from a year ago in both volume (14,273 mt, up 99 percent) and value ($24.2 million, up 94 percent).
- Exports to Australia were 9 percent ahead of last year’s record pace in both volume (51,070 mt) and value ($147.5 million). Australia is the third-largest destination for U.S. hams exported for further processing, trailing only Mexico and China/Hong Kong.
Wednesday October 10, 2018/ USMEF/ United States.