USMEF: September pork exports fairly steady


September exports of U.S. pork were down slightly from a year ago but maintained a robust pace, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

Posted on Nov 14 ,00:15

USMEF: September pork exports fairly steady

Pork exports totaled 221,140 metric tons (mt) in September, down less than 1% from a year ago, while export value fell 4% to $643.7 million. For the first three quarters of 2023, pork exports increased 9% year-over-year to 2.13 million mt and climbed 7% in value to just under $6 billion. 

"Pork exports achieving another $200 million month in Mexico is fantastic,” said USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom, “But the good news doesn’t end there, as growth in regions such as Central America, the Caribbean and Oceania helped offset lower shipments to China and Japan". 

September pork shipments to Mexico remained well ahead of last year’s record pace, increasing 17% to 89,042 mt. Export value increased 18% to $207.6 million, the third highest month on record. Through the first three quarters of 2023, exports to Mexico climbed 13% from a year ago to 794,354 mt, valued at $1.68 billion. This included excellent growth in pork variety exports, which surged 31% in volume (117,945 mt) and 40% in value ($220.4 million).

Led by robust growth in leading markets Honduras and Guatemala, September pork exports to Central America increased 34% year-over-year in both volume (9,507 mt) and value ($29.6 million). Through September, exports to the region increased 9% to 89,061 mt, while value jumped 15% to $258.8 million. In addition to Honduras and Guatemala, shipments trended higher to El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. 

Pork exports to the Dominican Republic are on a record pace in 2023, with September shipments increasing 3% from a year ago to 5,785 mt and value up slightly to $17.4 million. Through the first three quarters of the year, exports to the DR climbed 23% in volume (72,518 mt) and 29% in value ($198.7 million). In addition to the DR’s strong demand for muscle cuts, pork variety meat shipments surged 95% to 3,143 mt, valued at $5.9 million (up 148%). 

Other January-September results for U.S. pork exports include: 

  • Demand for U.S. pork has rebounded impressively in Oceania, where exports through September increased 80% from a year ago to 57,615 mt, as U.S. pork continues to retake market share from the European Union. Export value climbed 64% to $202 million. Due to market access restrictions, most U.S. exports to the region are raw material for further processing, but value-added processed products from the U.S. have also gained popularity in both Australia and New Zealand. 
  • While September exports to the ASEAN region were below last year, shipments through the first three quarters of the year were still 30% above last year at 52,471 mt, with value up 7% to $124.4 million. The Philippines was the top destination (42,357 mt, up 22%), with Malaysia surging into the #2 spot at 3,935 mt – up more than 1,500% from a year ago. Exports also trended higher to Vietnam (3,714 mt, up 43%) and Indonesia (581 mt,  up 38%). 
  • Pork exports to Taiwan continued to trend higher in September, climbing 184% from a year ago to 736 mt. Export value doubled to $2.1 million. Through September, exports climbed nearly 400% to 14,775 mt, with value increasing almost 500% to $47.5 million. U.S. pork recently suffered a setback, however, due to incidents of mislabeling that led to heightened inspections of imported pork. While no food safety issues were involved, the findings generated unwelcome negative publicity for U.S. pork that will likely dampen fourth-quarter demand. 
  • Pork variety meat exports performed well in September, despite significantly lower shipments to leading destination China. September exports reached 46,044 mt, down only slightly from a year ago, while export value increased 3% to $108.7 million. January-September variety meat exports established a record pace at 438,190 mt, up 15% from a year ago, while export value increased 13% to $1.03 billion. In addition to the above-mentioned growth in Mexico and the DR, exports also trended higher to the ASEAN region, Canada, Chile, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago and Taiwan. 
  • September pork export value equated to $61.94 per head slaughtered, down 1% from a year ago, while the January-September average was up 5% to $63.16. Export value per head is on a record pace and share of production exported is at the record levels seen in 2020-21. Exports accounted for 28.1% of total September pork production and 24% for muscle cuts only, up from 27.4% and 23.2%, respectively, a year ago. The January-September ratios were 29.4% of total production (up from 27.1%) and 25.2% for muscle cuts (up from 23.5%).

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