After getting off to a slow start in 2013, U.S. pork exports to Mexico rebounded in a big way in the second quarter. June exports were up about 20 percent year-over-year, pulling first-half export results nearly even with last year’s record pace.
While official results for July are not yet available, Port Import Export Reporting Service (PIERS) data suggest July was also a very strong month for U.S. pork exports to Mexico.
As U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Economist Erin Borror explains, Mexico and Russia are the two leading destinations for exports of U.S. hams. So the resurgence in Mexican demand for U.S. pork could not have come at a more critical time, because Russia remains closed to U.S. pork due to the impasse over use of beta agonists in pork production.
Borror expects demand to remain strong through the end of 2013, but cautions that Mexico is a very price-sensitive market. Therefore the purchasing power of the Mexican peso, which weakened last week versus the U.S. dollar, is always a major concern.
Price sensitivity also heightens concerns about the potential for retaliatory duties on U.S. pork in the ongoing country-of-origin labeling (COOL) dispute with Canada and Mexico.