There is a strong demand for US pork both at home and abroad, with a huge bump in sales to Colombia this year.
Despite trailing behind beef, fish, and poultry consumption for the past 3 decades, per capita pork consumption has been gaining popularity in Colombia and surpassed fish and beef to become the second most consumed protein in 2021.
Trade in US agricultural products to Colombia had already expanded as a result of the US-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (CTPA), implemented in 2012, but the pandemic caused Comerpes, a retail chain in Cartagena, to launch a delivery service that encouraged the purchase of US pork.
Colombia’s demand for US pork started the year slow but picked up speed in the second quarter. June exports totalled 11,120 mt, up 90% from a year ago and the largest of 2022.
First-half exports to Colombia were 10% above last year in volume (51,813 mt) and value was on a record pace at US$119.5 million (also up 10%). While a large percentage of the US pork exported to Colombia is used for further processing, the US industry has made significant gains in Colombia’s retail and foodservice sectors.
The diverse cultural landscape in Colombia allows for an increased opportunity for pork, and specifically US pork, as a versatile and economical protein choice for consumers. The US Meat Export Federation promotion, funded by the US National Pork Board (NPB) and Iowa Corn Promotion Board, included a giveaway of mobile cooler bags for customers in Cartagena, Colombia and resulted in a 134% growth in bone-in ham sales.
Top exported US pork variety meats to Colombia include boneless and bone-in hams, boneless picnics, trimmings, boneless and bone-in loins, fat, skin, hearts, and brisket bones.