U.S. pork exports in May were 430.8 million pounds, slightly above (0.06 percent) exports in May 2013.

The largest foreign destinations for U.S. pork in May were the “usual suspects”: Japan (+2.9 percent growth), Mexico (+13 percent growth), and Canada (-5.7 percent fewer exports than last year), which together accounted for 65 percent of U.S. pork exports, compared with 62 percent a year ago.

Noteworthy in May were continued strong shipments to South Korea and a new startup of shipments to Russia. Exports to Korea increased almost 44 percent from a year ago, likely due to that country’s reduced domestic pork supplies from PEDv outbreaks.

Shipments to Russia were almost 21 million pounds, compared with “zero” shipments in May 2013. Exports to Russia move under USDA\Agricultural Marketing Service’s Never Fed Beta Agonists Program, which is detailed here.

U.S. pork exports in 2014 are expected to be 5 billion pounds, about 0.3 percent above last year.

While year-over-year higher in the first half of 2014, shipments in the second-half are expected to be below a year earlier due to high U.S. prices from lower pork production.