August U.S. pork exports were 433.4 million pounds, 43.6 percent larger than last Augusts, making January-August U.S. pork exports 18.7 percent larger than 2010. U.S. pork exports should remain strong into 2012. Although 2012 U.S. pork exports were revised downward slightly to 5.09 billion pounds from last month, they are still forecast to be 2.8 percent higher than 2011.

Japan and Mexico are projected to continue to be the primary export markets and China/Hong Kong will continue to play a strong role. Exports to Russia are expected to be limited by the lower tariff-rate quotas Russia has imposed on pork.

Slightly larger U.S. pork production and the reduced revision in U.S. pork exports will translate into slightly more pork supply for domestic consumption. The per capita retail weight disappearance forecast for 2012 was revised up from last month by 0.4 pound to 46.3 pounds. Pork retail prices in 2012 are expected to average in the upper $3.40’s per pound, up slightly from 2011 prices and up over 11 percent from 2010 prices.