Exports remain a significant driver for the U.S. pork market and USDA figures for May continue to amaze. Total pork exports for the month, including fresh/frozen and processed pork, were 158,990 metric tons, a record volume of pork shipped in a given month and 96.1percent higher than a year ago. U.S. pork exports in May were valued at $395.3 million.
In the first five months of the year, total U.S. pork export volume has been about 250,547 metric tons or 59.6 percent larger than a year ago. The value of pork exports for the period Jan - May exceeded $1.6 billion, or 50 percent larger than a year ago. If we also account for the $172 million in exports of pork variety meats, total U.S. pork and pork variety meat dollar sales for the first five months of the year have increased by more than $600 million.
Exports to China/Hong Kong in May were 42,938 metric tons, surpassing U.S. pork shipments to Japan and making it the top market for US pork. Pork exports to Japan, the second largest market, were 38,844 metric tons. Pork exports to Mexico have also recovered from the low levels of a year ago and at 19,627 metric tons, May shipments to Mexico were 76.5 percent higher than a year ago. Exports to Russia, at 13,311 metric tons, were 108 percent larger than a year ago while shipments to Canada rose 16.5 percent.