According to the USDA's Livestock, Dairy and Poultry report, October pork exports were almost 493 million pounds, 2.2 percent above October 2011. For the first 10 months of the year, U.S. pork exports totaled almost 4.5 billion pounds, more than 7 percent higher than the same period of 2011. The figure below graphs January- October U.S. pork exports for this year and 2011.

Strong year-over-year gains through July 2012 were largely due to shipments to China-Hong Kong. In October, year-over year lower shipments to Japan (-1.1 percent in October, and -5.2 percent for January- October) and China-Hong Kong (- 61.6 percent in October, and +16.5 percent for January-October) were more than offset by strong exports to NAFTA partners Mexico (+32.8 percent in October, and +15.6 percent for January-October) and Canada (+20.3 percent in October and +17.4 percent for January-October), and Russia (+75 percent in October, and +45 percent for January-October).

U.S. pork imports in October were almost 4 percent below a year earlier, due mostly to lower imports from Denmark. Imports of live swine from Canada were fractionally higher in October (+0.56 percent).

Imports of feeder pigs (23-50 kgs) were 36 percent higher than a year ago, likely due to strong prices for finishing animals in the United States. Strong imports of feeder pigs offset year-over year lower imports of all other categories of imported live swine.