Record setting year for U.S. pork exports

by Editor
Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The U.S. pork industry achieved its 16th consecutive record-setting year of exports in 2007, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation.

Pork exports increased 3% in volume over 2006, surpassing 1.3 million metric tons, nearly 2.9 billion pounds. The value of the exports jumped 10% over 2006, exceeding $3.15 billion.

Pork muscle cut exports also increased 3% in volume and 10% in value while pork variety meat exports increased 5% in volume and 14% in value.

Japan remains the top destination for U.S. pork, accounting for 36% of the value of all U.S. pork exports. Japan imported 358,582 metric tons of pork in 2007, a 6% increase over the prior year. Those imports were valued at $1.152 billion, an 11% jump over 2006.

Mexico is still the No. 2 destination for U.S. Pork despite a 22% decline in imports in 2007. U.S. pork exports to Mexico in 2007 totaled 276,388 metric tons, more than 609 million pounds.

China/Hong Kong was the largest growth market for U.S. pork exports, jumping 91% to 169,160 metric tons, valued at almost $271 million. Exports to China/Hong Kong surpassed exports to Canada in volume 148,576 metric tons, but Canada remains the No. 3 market in value of pork exports at $491.58 million, a 12% jump over 2006.

Exports to Russia doubled in 2006, and continued to grow in 2007, setting a new record with a 21% hike to 99,876 metric tons, valued at nearly $207 million, a 26% increase in value over the prior year. The weak U.S. dollar, combined with high Brazilian pork prices, gave the United States a competitive advantage in the Russian market, enabling U.S. exports to exceed the 49,000 metric ton, quota for U.S. pork imports.