US pork exports bounce back
US pork is back on the global market, despite the ongoing trade war with China and Mexico. According to the figures presented by the US Meat Export Federation, June pork exports posted double-digit gains in both volume and value, reaching 212,887 tonnes, up 11% year-over-year, valued at $569.2 million (up 12%). For the first half of 2019, pork exports remained 2% below last year in volume (1.25 million tonnes) and were down 6% in value to $3.14 billion. Thanks to eliminating the 20% retaliatory duty on most U.S. pork exports to Mexico in May, June exports to this market were the largest since January at 59,837 tonnes, while value climbed 13% to $119 million – the highest since April 2018. It’s a tremendous relief to have Mexico’s retaliatory duties on U.S. pork behind us, as the June bump in export value clearly illustrates,” noted USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “Now the goal is to get back to the record-setting trend the U.S. industry established in Mexico from 2012 through 2017, prior to the metal tariff dispute. USMEF’s marketing programs have ramped up in Mexico so that we can recapture lost market share and regain momentum in this critical market for U.S. pork.”
There was also an increase in pork exports to China (a country that is holding up duties of 60% on US pork products) to reach the largest volume in more than three years at 41,704 tonnes (up 123% year-over-year), valued at $88.5 million (up 77%). This pushed first-half exports to China 23% ahead of last year in volume (177,060 tonnes) and 3% higher in value ($353.1 million). For the China/Hong Kong region, first-half exports were up 4% to 224,009 mt but value declined 16% to $427.8 million, according to USMEF data.