Solid year for U.S. pork includes new records in top two markets
U.S. pork exports posted the best value year ever in Japan, reaching $1.65 billion. This was the third consecutive year in which exports to Japan exceeded $1.5 billion, with value jumping 7 percent over 2009 and 6 percent over the previous record in 2008. Volume was 434,923 metric tons – an increase of 3 percent over the previous year.
Pork exports have never broken the $1 billion mark for a single year in any market other than Japan, but came very close in 2010. Exports to Mexico reached a record $986.7 million – an increase of nearly 30 percent over the previous high set in 2009. Volume was up 8 percent over the previous year to 545,732 metric tons.
Export volume per head of slaughter equated to $43.72 compared to $38.44 in 2009. The ratio of total production exported was 23.7 percent compared to 22.5 percent in 2009.
Other market highlights for U.S. pork include:
• Canada held strong as the third-largest value market for U.S. pork, setting new records for both volume and value. Value increased 19 percent to $618.2 million, while volume was up 8 percent to 183,068 metric tons.
• Exports to China rebounded after being absent for much of the previous year, increasing 112 percent in volume (130,675 metric tons) and 73 percent in value ($228.5 million).
• Led by strong demand in the Philippines and Singapore, exports to the ASEAN region were record-large – up 12 percent in volume (66,657 metric tons) and 26 percent in value ($134.6 million).
• Exports to Australia were also record-large, reaching 52,426 metric tons valued at $148.2 million. This was an increase of 8 percent in volume and 29 percent in value.
• Led by Honduras, Guatemala and Colombia, exports to the Central-South America region set new records in both volume (up 32 percent to 59,405 metric tons) and value (up 41 percent to $141.3 million).
• Exports to the Caribbean also posted a record-breaking performance, increasing 6 percent in volume (42,797 metric tons) and 19 percent in value ($92.6 million).
Pork exports to South Korea were down in 2010, due in part to high domestic inventories through much of the year. This is expected to change in 2011, however, as the country deals with a severe foot-and-mouth disease crisis in its swine herd. Korea’s pork import activity has already picked up, and will be further bolstered by a recently-announced, duty-free quota.