The global pace of U.S. pork exports lost ground in August compared to 2008, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation.
August pork plus pork variety meat exports were down 22 percent in volume and 28 percent in value compared to August 2008. For January-August, exports reached 1.212 million metric tons valued at $2.85 billion, a decline of 12 percent in volume and 11 percent in value from the same period last year.
While lower than the torrid pace of 2008, pork exports in August were still 35 percent larger than August 2007 – the previous high for pork exports – and accumulated exports through the first eight months of the year were 51 percent larger than January through August 2007.
In the first half of the year, the declining performance of certain pork export markets was largely offset by gains in the two leading destinations for U.S. pork (Mexico by volume, Japan in terms of value).
While Mexico and Japan continue to perform above their record pace of 2008, the gains achieved in these markets are no longer sufficient to overcome the decline in exports to China and Russia, which are at least partially the result of market access restrictions.
January-August pork exports to Mexico of 328,801 metric tons valued at nearly $487 million, were 38 percent higher by volume and 17 percent higher by value than the same period last year. Mexico’s August total was 5 percent higher in volume and 6 percent higher in value than in July 2009. This indicates demand for U.S. pork has rebounded quickly from the H1N1 influenza crisis that gripped Mexico earlier this year.
Other bright spots for U.S. pork through August include Australia, the Caribbean, Taiwan and the Philippines.