Mexico is the leading destination for U.S. pork exports by volume, and the second-largest market (to Japan) in terms of value. Exports to Mexico set an all-time record in 2009 and appear to be headed for another record performance this year. But export activity slowed in September, and one major factor may have been the 5 percent tariff imposed by Mexico as a result of the NAFTA trucking dispute.

Total pork and pork variety meat exports to Mexico fell by about 12 percent in September compared to August. But exports of hams and shoulders – the cuts subject to the new tariff – dropped by more than 20 percent. Meanwhile, Canada’s pork exports to Mexico – which are not subject to the tariff – increased by more than 30 percent. U.S. Meat Export Federation President and CEO Philip Seng says it is difficult to draw solid conclusions based on only one month’s results, but those who downplayed the significance of the tariff may have underestimated its impact.

Source: USMEF