April 18, 2022

US pork exports fell in February, says USMEF


US pork exports trended lower year-over-year in February, as larger shipments to Mexico and Japan did not offset the continued decline in demand from China/Hong Kong, the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) said.


Demand for US pork did not fare as well in the first two months of 2022, as logistics challenges were compounded by lower-priced offerings from competitors. Like the United States, these suppliers are shipping significantly lower volumes to China/Hong Kong, which has pushed more product into other markets at reduced prices.


US February pork exports were 198,539 tonnes, down 17% from a year ago, while export value fell 14% to US$541.3 million.


US pork exports to Mexico reached new heights in 2021 and this strong momentum continued through February. Exports totaled 73,939 tonnes, up 30% from a year ago, with value increasing 14% to US$118.6 million.


After a slow start in 2022, February pork exports to Japan rebounded to 32,712 tonnes, up 3% from a year ago, with value increasing 6% to US$139.8 million.


Some pork exports to Japan, such as frozen cuts and ground seasoned pork, have been negatively impacted by the logistical challenges and by heightened competition from the European Union.


US pork exports to South Korea continue to post impressive value gains, even as volumes trend slightly lower than a year ago. February exports were 13,044 tonnes, down 4%, but value still increased 11% to US$44.6 million.


Exports to China/Hong Kong dropped significantly from a year ago in both volume (68,420 tonnes, down 54%) and value (US$185.5 million, down 44%). But this trend was consistent with late 2021 and in line with USMEF's projections, given China's low hog prices.


China's COVID-19 restrictions on imported meat have also added further costs and limited new sales opportunities. The region is still the dominant destination for US pork variety meat.



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