US pork exports climb
During the first half of 2017 the US exported 879.3 thousand tonnes of fresh/frozen pork, 12% more than the same period in 2016.
With the average unit price of exports also rising, the value of US pork shipments from January – June were 15% higher on the year at $2.3 billion. Over the same time frame, US pork production was also on the up, so the increase in exports may not come as a huge surprise.
Mexico remained the largest market for US pork shipments, accounting for over a third of all trade. During the first half of the year Mexico imported nearly 308 thousand tonnes of pork from the US, 25% more than the same period last year. US pork exports to its second and now third largest market, Japan and South Korea, were also up year on year by 4% and 34% to 186 thousand tonnes and 88.7 thousand tonnes respectively.
However, shipments to China have declined by 28% on the year from January-June, to 78.6 thousand tonnes. Chinese pork imports as a whole have been in decline over the past few months as local production has begun to recover – click here to read more.
US pig meat production is currently forecast to rise by 5% on the year in 2017 by the USDA, with exports expected to climb by 8%. Key markets for US pork, such as Japan, South Korea and China are also significant destinations for EU exports. With this in mind the EU may face competition from the US on the export market during the second half of the year. However, this is dependent on a number of factors, including price competitiveness, trade deals and political developments.
Millie Askew, Senior Analyst
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