In 2001, the U.S. is projected to export a record 637,000 tons of pork, largely driven by increased sales to Japan, according to USDA’s International Agricultural Trade Report.

USDA’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates forecast a record 4.86 million tons of meat exports, including a near-record 635,000 tons of pork exports for 2002. Consumer demand for U.S. pork is growing in Japan, Canada and Mexico.

Total meat production for 2002 is forecast to reach a new high at 37.43 tons, led by pork and poultry. Pork production is predicted to be 8.96 million tons for 2002, up 3% more than this year.

Pork imports for 2002 are projected at 454,000 tons, slightly more than 2001, says USDA.

USDA’s trade reports estimate live hog prices in 2002 to be in the mid $40/cwt. Prices this year are higher due to demand, but they could soften later as supplies grow.