U.S. pork exports should end up as the second highest to date after last year’s 11th consecutive record year for pork exports, says Ron Plain, University of Missouri agricultural economist.

In 2001, the U.S. shipped 1.559 billion lb. of pork. That was 21.2% more than in 2000 and six times as much pork as the U.S. exported in 1990, he says. Much of that big jump was due to Foot-and-Mouth Disease problems in Europe.

January-May 2002 pork exports represented 8.1% of U.S. production, compared to 8.9% last year. The total level of 655,864 million lb. is down 6.8% from ’01, but up 23.6% over export figures for a similar period in 2000.

Pork imports during January-May 2002 equaled 5.1% of U.S. production, compared with 4.5% during the same period in 2001.