U.S. pork exports in April were almost 397 million pounds, about 12 percent lower than a year earlier. Most of the reduction is attributable to continued demand weakness in major Asian markets.

A list of the 10 largest foreign markets for U.S. pork products in April appears below.

Exports to Japan were almost 9 percent lower than a year ago, more than likely due to yen depreciation, slightly higher domes tic pork production, and increased imports of U.S. beef. U.S. exports to China\Hong Kong were about 39 percent lower than a year ago due to adequate domestic supplies. U.S. export data indicates that shipments to South Korea were about one-thi rd less in April than a year earlier. Reduction in South Korea’s demand for U.S. pork appears to be due to rebounding Korean pork production after recent disease outbreaks.

U.S. NAFTA partners Canada and Mexico each imported more U.S. pork products in April compared with a year ago. U.S. exports to Mexico in April increased year- 6 Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook/LDP-M-228/June 18, 2013 Economic Research Service, USDA over-year for the first time since last Nove mber. Shipments to Mexico were almost 98 million pounds in April, about 12 percent above a year ago. U.S. pork exports to

Canada increased 3.5 percent year-over-y ear to 40.7 million pounds. Together, U.S. NAFTA partners accounted for about 35 percent of U.S. pork exports in April.

Second-quarter pork exports are expected to total 1.23 billion pounds, almost 6 percent below a year ago. Pork exports for 2013 are expected to total about 5 billion pounds, 6.6 percent below a year ago. For next year, exports should recover to 5.3 billion pounds, an increase of 4.5 percent compared with exports forecast for 2013.