Pork exports continue their 10-year rise, aided by a variety of factors, says Glenn Grimes, University of Missouri agricultural economist.

Grimes' analysis of trade data for the first 10 months of 2001 shows net exports added $5.59 to the value of each hog slaughtered, injecting nearly $452 million into producer profits.

“The increase in the value of each pig in 2001 is attributable to everything that has affected trade this year, which includes checkoff-funded Foreign Market Development activities, USDA export assistance money and the Foot-and-Mouth disease outbreaks in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in the world,” he points out.

The official trade data for the 10-month period shows that pork and pork variety meat exports rose 22% by volume and 13% by value. Figure 1 illustrates growth since 1990.

The BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) situation has kept pork exports to Japan stable, says John Cravens, National Pork Board director of foreign market development. During October, Japanese consumption of pork rose 13%, while beef consumption fell 60%, due to BSE concerns.

U.S. Meat Export Federation estimates U.S. pork and pork variety meat exports to Japan increased 19% for 2001.

For January to October 2001, the U.S. exported 8.27% of production and imported 5.08% of production. Net exports of pork reached 3.19% of production, up from 1.79% for the same period in 2000.