Contrasting trends in US and Canadian exports
At 1.1 million tonnes, US pork exports rose by 4% in the first nine months of this year, compared with the same period in 2013. Canadian exports weakened by 3% year on year in the same period, to 646,400 tonnes.
At 1.1 million tonnes, US pork exports rose by 4% in the first nine months of this year, compared with the same period in 2013. This was somewhat surprising given the lower supplies in the US market, resulting from PEDv outbreak. However, many major export markets were also affected by PEDv, increasing demand for US pork. The overall rise is a result of higher exports in the first half of this year, which mitigated the impact of a 9% decline in the third quarter, when US supplies were at their tightest. Mexico is the largest market for US pork and exports to the country rose by 18% on the year. Asian markets are also key for US pork exporters, with Japan, China and South Korea collectively taking 41% of total pork shipments. Japan maintained its position as the second largest buyer of US pork but volumes fell by 4% year on year. Similarly, exports to China fell by 18% but trade with South Korea strengthened by 35%. The tight supply situation meant prices were significantly higher, so the total value of US pork exports in the period January to September amounted to $3.7 billion, up 15% on a year earlier.
Canadian exports weakened by 3% year on year in the first nine months of this year, to 646,400 tonnes. The leading markets for Canadian exports recorded increases, including higher shipments to the US (up 4%), Japan (up 4%) and Russia (up 58%). These three markets collectively accounted for 65% of total Canadian exports. The rise in supplies to Russia was a result of its ban on EU pork, which provided extra opportunities for Canadian exporters. However, the third quarter figures show lower exports to Russia as the import ban was extended to Canada in August. Declines across several Asian markets, mainly due to increased competition from EU pork, contributed to the overall downturn in exports. In particular, shipments to China came down by 21%, while exports to South Korea, the Philippines and Taiwan also declined. As for the US, export prices were significantly higher, so the total value of Canadian exports reached C$2.3 billion, 22% up on January to September 2013.