Results Pork export volume just short of 2017 record

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Thursday, March 14, 2019
Pork export volume came up just short of the record set in 2017 while value slipped 1% year-over-year.
Photo: USMEF
Pork export volume came up just short of the record set in 2017 while value slipped 1% year-over-year.
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Export Beef pork South Korea USA USDA


Last year US beef exports shattered the previous value record and achieved a new high for volume, according to year-end 2018 statistics released by USDA and compiled by USMEF. Pork export volume came up just short of the record set in 2017 while value slipped 1% year-over-year.

Fueled by tremendous demand in South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and the ASEAN region, US beef exports reached 1.35 mill. t, up 7% from 2017 and exceeding the 2011 record by 5%. Export value soared to $8.33 bn., breaking the 2017 record by $1.06 bn. – an increase of 15%. For December only, beef export volume was down slightly from a year ago to 112,777 t, but value still increased 4% to $700.2 million.

Despite significant headwinds, 2018 pork exports reached 2.44 mill. t – just 0.5% below the 2017 record. Pork export value was $6.39 bn., down 1% year-over-year and the third-highest total on record, trailing only 2014 ($6.65 bn.) and 2017 ($6.49 bn.). For December only, pork exports were down 5% from a year ago to 209,780 t, valued at $527.4 mill. (down 11%).

While demand for US beef showed remarkable strength throughout the world in 2018, no market exemplified this momentum more than South Korea. Exports to Korea increased 30% year-over-year in volume to 239,676 t and jumped 43% in value to $1.75 bn. Since KORUS was implemented in 2012, the import duty rate on US beef has declined from 40 to 18.7% and will fall to zero by 2026.

Through May 2018, pork exports to leading volume market Mexico appeared to be headed for a seventh consecutive record, topping the 2017 pace by 6%. But May was the last month in which exports to Mexico would increase year-over-year, due to retaliatory duties imposed in response to US tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. The decline in value from June through December was 24%, totaling $218 mill., underscoring the large degree to which US producers and exporters bore the cost of Mexico’s 20% retaliatory duty.

Retaliatory duties also impacted pork exports to China/Hong Kong, which fell 29% in volume (351,774 t) and 21% in value ($851.7 mill.) compared to 2017. This included a 30% decline in pork variety meat volume to 225,414 (China/Hong Kong is the largest destination for US pork variety meat).

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