US pork exports set another monthly volume record in November, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF), which helped offset record-high production and provide a significant boost to pork cutout values.
US pork continues to perform remarkably well in Japan, with November results up 6 percent in volume and 17 percent in value over a year ago. For January-November, exports to Japan totaled 451,509 metric tons, nearly matching the 2008 volume record of 451,853 metric tons. Export value reached $1.79 billion, easily setting a new record and setting the stage for a year-end value total that could threaten the $2 billion mark.
“USMEF has continued to market US pork aggressively in Japan, because we know this it is a valuable and fiercely competitive market,” said USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng. “When we first broke the $1 billion barrier in 2005, some speculated that this market may have peaked. They said so again in 2008, when exports hit $1.5 billion. To be approaching $2 billion is remarkable, and it shows just how vital Japan is to the bottom line of the U.S. industry.”
November exports were also bolstered by strong results in the China/Hong Kong region, which set another monthly record at 66,993 metric tons valued at $140.2 million. For the year, export volume to this region was up 68 percent to 428,683 metric tons and export value nearly doubled to $794.6 million.
Pork exports to South Korea continued to build on a record year, with November results up 62 percent in volume to 11,673 metric tons and more than double in value to $35.6 million. For the year, exports to Korea have soared by 126 percent in volume (172,791 metric tons) and 176 percent in value ($453.7 million).
Exports volume to Mexico was lower in November at 47,295 metric tons (down 12 percent) but value remained steady at $94.7 million. Despite volume for the year being down 3 percent to 477,221 metric tons, Mexico remains the leading volume destination for U.S. pork. Export value for the year ($925.3 million) was up 4 percent from 2010’s record pace, and by year’s end may break $1 billion for the first time.
November results pushed pork exports to Canada to new record totals in both volume (188,250 metric tons, up 14 percent) and value ($673.8 million, up 20 percent). Other markets that have topped their previous records in 2011 include Australia (58,631 metric tons valued at $187.8 million) and Central-South America (66,352 metric tons valued at $171.3 million).