US fresh/frozen pork exports in the first quarter rose 19% year-on-year to 442,200 tonnes, data showed, as tracked by AHDB Pork.
The rise in shipments should not be surprising as US pig production rose over the same time frame. Also, the value of US exports during the first quarter increased, by 24% year-on-year to $1.14 billion, the pork division of the UK Agriculture & Horticulture Board said.
Mexico remained as the largest destination for US pork in the first quarter, with volumes shipped increasing 37% year-on-year to 160,800 tonnes.
Growth was also recorded in shipments to Japan (7% year-on-year) and South Korea (32% year-on-year), with volumes totalling 95,200 tonnes and 47,600 tonnes respectively.
However, exports to the US' fourth-largest destination, China, fell 14% year-on-year to 35,600 tonnes from January to March.
Exports are expected to remain strong for the rest of the year, with US pig-meat production forecast to rise 5% on the year in 2017.