According to the USDA's latest Livestock, Dairy and Poultry report, U.S. pork exports in October were over 482 million pounds, more than 42 percent above October 2010 shipments. Similar to patterns set early in 2011, 80 percent of October exports went to five countries: Japan (+37.8 percent year-over-year), China (almost 4 times greater than a year ago), Mexico (+.3 percent year-over-year), Canada (+27.4 percent year-over-year), and South Korea (+64.5 percent year-over-year).

U.S. pork imports in October were 69 million pounds, 11 percent less than a year earlier. As has become the norm, almost 12 percent of October imports were of Danish origin, and 77 percent came from Canada. Imports from Denmark were almost 15 percent ahead of a year ago, while shipments from Canada were off by more than 14 percent. Live swine imports from Canada in October were almost 498,000 head, 9 percent above a year ago. All categories of finishing animals (segregated early-weaned pigs and feeder pigs) were up strongly, while slaughter hog imports declined 9 percent compared with October 2010.

USDA will release the Quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report on December 23. The report will contain December 1 hog and pig inventories, as well as fourth-quarter (September-November) farrrowing, pig crop, and litter rate information. Additionally, the report will detail producers’ second set of farrowing intentions for the first quarter of the new year (December-February (2012)), and the first set of producers’ farrowing intentions for the second quarter (March-May) of 2012.