Limited growth in US & Canadian exports
US pork exports in 2015 increased by 2% year on year to just over 1.5 million tonnes. Canadian pork exports recorded a slightly smaller increase of 1% year on year.
Shipments from the US in the last quarter of 2015 increased by 9% from the previous three months, which helped to contribute towards the overall yearly rise. Once again, Mexico was the largest importer of US pork, with 35% of total shipments going to the country and volumes increasing 11% on the year. China was bumped down to the fifth largest export destination, with its percentage share of total US exports decreasing, as 10% less pork was shipped year on year. US exports to Japan also decreased on the year, albeit at a slower rate. All was not lost for the US, in terms of the Asian markets, as shipments to South Korea increased by nearly 30% on the year to 152,800 tonnes. The average unit price of pork exports decreased by $0.63/kg (19%) in 2015 compared to 2014, as the strength of the dollar hit competitiveness against other major exporters. This left the total value of pork exports at just over $4 billion, down by 18% year on year.
Similar to the US, an increase in Canadian exports of 12% in the last quarter of the year contributed to the overall annual rise. In 2015, the US remained the main destination for Canadian pork, with shipments increasing by 10% to 350,900 tonnes, which is 40% of total exports, although sales in the last quarter were down on the year. Volumes destined for Mexico also increased by 31%. Unlike the US, shipments to China and Japan both increased, by 13% and 14% respectively, in 2015. South Korea also imported 4% more Canadian pork compared to 2014. This enabled the Canadian industry to offset the loss of the Russian market, which took over 10% of its exports prior to the ban imposed in August 2014. The value of Canadian pork shipments decreased less than that of the US due to the weaker Canadian dollar, down 8% to total C$2.9 billion in 2015.