US pork Strong October for exports
October pork exports were up 8% year-over-year to 242,536 t, with value also increasing 8% to $641.1 mill. Exports to Mexico, Japan, China/Hong Kong, Canada and the Philippines were substantially higher than a year ago while shipments to Central and South America were the largest since March.
Through the first 10 months of the year, pork exports were 15% ahead of last year's record pace at 2.46 mill. t, with value up 16% to $6.33 bn. With Mexico as the top volume destination, October muscle cut exports posted double digits gains at 201,723 t (up 11%), with value up 10% to $551.8 mill. This pushed January-October totals for pork muscle cuts to 2.07 mill. t (up 20%) valued at $5.49 bn. (up 18%).
"While the tight labor situation continues to limit the cut and variety meat specifications available for export, red meat demand is strengthening in many critical markets," said USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. "October exports of bone-in hams, for example, were near the July record and up 50% from a year ago. This has been a volatile year, filled with shifts in consumer preferences and a lot of uncertainty for international buyers. But the US industry has responded positively to these challenges and the demand dynamics for red meat are quite strong as we approach year's end. When the gains made at retail over the past several months are combined with a stronger foodservice recovery, the prospects for export growth are very promising."