Total pork exports for February posted a 4.7 percent increase in value over February 2008, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation. A 45 percent jump in pork variety meat exports in February helped propel the increase.
Total U.S. pork exports for the month were valued at $368.2 million. Pork muscle cut exports, valued at $305.6 million, declined by about 1 percent compared to last year.
In terms of volume, pork plus pork variety meat exports of 158,471 metric tons represented an increase of 1 percent over February 2008. Through January and February, year-to-date pork plus pork variety meat exports increased 3 percent in volume over last year to 315,121 metric tons and 6 percent in value to $728.4 million.
Japan continues to be the top-performing value market for U.S. pork. Its February total of 37,774 metric tons valued at $138.6 million outpaced February 2008 by 18 percent in volume and 32 percent in value. Mexico showed even more remarkable growth as its February volume (42,458 metric tons) surged by 64 percent over last year and value, at $65.6 million jumped by 60 percent.
Other markets showing excellent growth included Taiwan, where pork plus pork variety meat exports doubled in value compared to February 2008. Exports to the ASEAN region climbed by 60 percent in volume and 80 percent in value, with the Philippines and Singapore leading this region’s gains.
Exports to Australia climbed by a similar percentage, increasing by 76 percent in both volume and value. Exports to the Caribbean jumped by 122 percent in volume and 114 percent in value over February of last year, led by a near-tripling of shipments to the Dominican Republic.
Global pork exports are proving to be very resilient, even though exports to Russia and China have suffered. Year-to-date pork exports to Russia have declined 49 percent in volume compared to January-February 2008. Exports to the China/Hong Kong region are down 46 percent in volume compared to 2008.
“We anticipated sharp declines in pork exports to certain markets, including China, when compared to the results we saw last year,” said USMEF President and chief executive officer Philip Seng. “But markets such as Japan and Mexico continue to perform extremely well, and U.S. pork is really gaining traction in many key regions across the world. The diversity and global reach of our marketing efforts are really paying off.”