The role and importance of U.S. pork exports and the value of specific cuts internationally were objectives of a “Value of Pork Exports” study conducted by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

“This study brings clarity to the value of the export premiums paid by customers in other countries in excess of U.S. prices,” explains John Hinners, USMEF vice president of industry relations. “In addition, it provides us with an array of valuable information about where we have been and need to go regarding U.S. pork exports.”

The study placed total pork export premiums for 2004 at $270.6 million. The items generating the largest premiums for U.S. producers, by volume, were: bellies, 67,100 tons; loins, 142,434 tons; butts, 44,471 tons; tenderloins, 27,652 tons; and picnics, 185,741 tons. Premiums for these five cuts represented 74% of the total export premiums received in 2004.

The study also estimated in 2004 that the United States exported the “pork equivalent” of 10.862 million hogs worth $22.64 more per head than their domestic counterparts.