According to the USDA's April Livestock, Dairy and Poultry report,February U.S. pork exports were almost 388 million pounds, more than 7 percent higher than a year ago. While the relatively low-valued U.S. dollar benefited most buyers of U.S. pork products in February, the value of the dollar with respect to the Japanese yen, in particular, likely spurred Japanese purchases of U.S. pork. February exports also reflect expected higher shipments to South Korea, in the aftermath of a series of recent outbreaks of foot and mouth disease.

Shipments to Japan, Mexico, and South Korea accounted for about 64 percent of exports in February. First-quarter pork exports are expected to be 1.15 billion pounds, almost 10 percent above the same period a year ago. For the year, U.S. pork exports, forecast at 4.675 billion pounds are expected to be 10.6 percent higher than a year ago and to account for 20.7 percent of U.S. commercial pork production.

U.S. pork imports, at 60.4 million pounds in February, were about 7.2 percent lower than a year ago. Of the five largest sources of imported pork, February shipments from Canada, Denmark, and Italy were lower, while imports from Poland and Mexico were higher, year-over-year. While the relatively low value of the U.S. dollar typically spurs U.S. pork exports, it is also likely that U.S. pork imports in February were slowed by the effects of the low-valued U.S. dollar. Live swine imports were almost 461 thousand head in February, 1.7 percent lower than in February 2010. Live swine imports were almost 461 thousand head in February, 1.7 percent lower than in February 2010. U.S. imports of segregated-early-weaned animals increased almost 9 percent, likely reflecting strong returns in February from finishing hogs in the United States.

Source: Livestock, Dairy and Poultry report