The two best years for U.S. pork exports were 2007 when the industry exported 14.3 percent of its production, and 2008 when 20 percent of all U.S. pork was exported. So far this year, U.S. exports are down in all major foreign markets, except Mexico and Australia.
Although 2009 exports are running 20 percent below 2008’s level, this year is still on pace to be the second best ever for U.S. pork exports. During the first eight months of 2009, exports tallied 17.6 percent of U.S. pork production. Last year, the United States exported 5.6 pounds of pork for each pound of pork imported. To date, this year’s ratio of exports to imports is 4.9 pounds to 1.