U.S. pork exports in November were 364 million pounds, a volume almost 20 percent lower than a year ago.

Shipments to most major destinations were lower. It is possible that still-elevated pork prices made U.S. product less attractive to foreign buyers in November. It is also possible that foreign ‘overbuying’ of U.S. pork early in 2014 in anticipation of PEDv reduced availability later in 2014, reducing demand for U.S. pork in November. Another likely explanatory factor is the high-valued U.S. dollar.

The figure below shows the extent of the 2014 U.S. broad dollar index premium to 2013 index values. A strong-valued U.S. dollar generally makes U.S. products more expensive—and thus less competitive—abroad. By the same token, a strong U.S. dollar exchange rate makes foreign products more competitive in the United States: U.S. imports of pork in November were about 10 percent above imports a year ago.

Most of the increase in November imports was of Canadian and European origin.

The United States is expected to export 5.250 billion pounds of pork in 2015, 8.4 percent more than in 2014. U.S. pork imports are expected to be 910 million pounds, almost 10 percent below imports in 2014, when PEDv reduced supplies of domestically produced pork.

Source: USDA's Livestock, Dairy and Poultry report