Despite being projected as a down year, U.S. pork exports continue to rebound in 2007, and in October (including variety meats) broke the record for a single month set in November 2006, says the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

October’s exports reached 143,466 tons valued at $313.33 million. The previous record was 134,448 tons valued at $289 million.

The October boost in pork exports brought the total volume for January to October 2007 to 1,139,398 tons, a 1% increase over the same period in 2006, and a 9% increase in value at $2.524 billion.

Those figures place U.S. pork exports on track for another record-breaking year.

Highlights of the pork trade picture:

  • U.S. pork production climbed 11% in October 2007 compared to October 2006, and October exports were equivalent to 14% of the month’s production.
  • January through October exports to Japan, the leading market for U.S. pork, increased 9% in volume (325,995 tons) over last year and 13% in value ($953.4 million).
  • Mexico remains the No. 2 destination for U.S. pork exports, despite a 25% one-year drop in export volume to 243,917 tons and a 21% drop in export value to $362.4 million.
  • The Hong Kong/China region is the largest growth market in 2007, as exports (including variety meats) soared 86%, 105% in volume (141,842 tons) and value ($220.2 million).
  • Canada retains the No. 3 export position in terms of value, with a 12% increase to $397.3 million, but lags behind Hong Kong/China in volume at 130,255 tons (up 5%).
  • Exports to South Korea, the No. 5 market, increased 6% in value to $181 million, despite an 8% decline in volume to 83,367 tons.
  • Pork exports to Russia also set a monthly record in October, and also nearly doubled the volume exported in October 2006, at 15,811 tons. That put the January to October export total to Russia at 80,601 tons, 7% above the same period last year. Pork variety meat exports increased 50%, except for pork muscle cuts, which were nearly even with last year.
  • Pork exports to Australia increased 38% through October and totaled 28,878 tons, valued at $71.3 million.

“These very positive results come at the same time the Australian government has launched an investigation into whether to implement safeguard measures to protect producers from imports,” says the USMEF.

  • Exports to Central and South America increased 19% from January through October, with the main growth markets of Honduras, Guatemala and Columbia.
  • U.S. pork exports to the Caribbean edged 1% higher to 16,253 tons.
  • Exports to the European Union increased 68%, with the top three markets France, Britain and Germany.
  • Exports to south Asian markets increased 45% to 12,338 tons, primarily to the Philippines followed by Singapore and Vietnam.
The latest export figures are available at www.usmef.org.