Japan leads US Pork exports

28-10-2008 | |

The US pork industry is celebrating a 17th consecutive record year for exports, and Japan is the early favourite for Most Valuable Partner (MVP) in trade, according to statistics released by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

5.2 percent jump

Through the first eight months of 2008, the United States has exported more than 3 billion pounds of pork and pork variety meat valued at more than $3.2 billion. For those keeping score, that’s a 5.2 percent jump in volume and a 1.8 percent increase in value of total pork exports compared to the entire 2007 calendar year, and a 71 percent hike in volume and 64 percent in value when compared to the first eight months of 2007.

Leading the way is Japan, the perennial all-star of pork importers. In 2008, Japan has imported more US pork muscle cuts (which account for 86 percent of the value of all US pork exports) than any other nation, totalling $967 million.

Importance of Japanese market
“You can’t overestimate the importance of the Japanese market to the US pork industry,” said Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO. “It accounts for 34.9 percent of the value of all US pork muscle cut exports and 30.9 percent of the value of total pork exports, and the opportunity there continues to grow as Japan’s agricultural self-sufficiency continues to decline.”

In the coming weeks, USMEF-Japan will unveil a promotional campaign extolling the fact that Japanese consumers have made US pork the No. 1 imported pork in Japan. The US share of Japan’s pork imports stands at 44 percent, compared to 37 percent last year, making the United States the dominant supplier. Canada is a distant second with 19 percent.

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