Last week brought two more pieces of positive news for the U.S. pork industry: September exports exceeded year-earlier levels and frozen pork stocks, as of Oct. 31, were smaller than both year-earlier and month-earlier levels, reports Steve Meyer, president, Paragon Economics.

For September, U.S. pork exports, at 352.5 million pounds, carcass weight equivalent, have exceeded year-earlier levels for the first month since March. That’s 3.8 percent higher than one year earlier. The September total puts monthly exports above the 2004-2007 trends for the sixth time this year.

Year-to-date exports are still 17 percent lower than last year, but they are 4.7 percent higher than the 2004-2007 trend, according to a report on

Mexico is the shining star in spite of all the H1N1-related difficulties that have been encountered there. September shipments to Mexico were 60 percent larger than last year and bring the year-to-date total back to +38 percent for 2009.

Exports to Mexico remained just over 12 million pounds smaller than Japan in September. That marks the second straight month that Mexico has been close to becoming our largest export customer in terms of tonnage. Japan remains the clear leader in terms of value, however.

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