Imports are forecast down 4 percent to 6.0 million tons, constrained by a sharply lower Russian TRQ and reduced South Korean import demand. Other major importers are forecast nearly unchanged or in the case of Mexico and China slightly higher.

Russia’s imports are forecast to drop 25 percent to 700,000 tons, due mostly to a 30 percent cut in the import quota in an attempt to promote domestic production. However, out-of-quota shipments are expected to continue to be significant. Lower imports combined with modest production growth are expected to result in a decline in consumption.

Note: The Russia pork PSDs now include trade with Belarus.

South Korea’s imports are expected to fall 20 percent to 500,000 tons, yet will remain significantly higher than 2010 pre-FMD-impacted levels. The special zero duty TRQs to facilitate imports in 2011 are not expected to continue.

Mexico’s imports are forecast up 3 percent to 650,000 tons as pork is expected to be more price competitive vis-à-vis other meats. Additionally, the expected reduction of Mexican retaliatory tariffs on hams and shoulders are expected to make U.S. pork more competitive.

China’s imports are forecast 2 percent higher to 560,000 tons as expanding domestic supplies are unable to meet rising demand.

Japan’s imports are expected to remain flat at 1.2 million tons as greater domestic supplies limit import growth.

U.S. exports are forecast up 3 percent to 2.3 million tons with larger shipments to China and Mexico expected to outweigh reduced demand from South Korea and Russia. Exports are increasingly important to the U.S. pork industry, accounting for 22 percent of production.

EU exports are forcast down 5 percent to 1.9 million tons largely on tighter supplies as well as weaker demand by some key importers. Lower shipments are expected to Russia due to lower import quotas, and South Korea where domestic supplies are recovering.

Brazil’s exports are forecast down 2 percent to 570,000 tons as Russia continues to ban imports from three major pork producing states. However, Brazil is expected to expand exports to Hong Kong, Argentina, and other markets.

Canada is unchanged at 1.2 million tons as a relatively strong Canadian dollar and limited supplies are expected to constrain their competitive position.