April exports of U.S. pork were up 4.05 million pounds from a year ago and were 4 percent higher in value ($509.2 million), keeping 2012 exports ahead of last year’s record pace. Through the first four months of the year, pork exports stand 6 percent higher than last year in volume (1.72 billion pounds) and 16 percent higher in value ($2.17 billion).
Dan Halstrom, senior vice president of marketing and communications for the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), says U.S. pork has gained significant momentum in Mexico. Last year exports to Mexico topped $1 billion for the first time, but they are off to an even stronger start in 2012. Halstrom also notes favorable results in Central and South America, Russia and the China/Hong Kong region.
April was the strongest month so far this year for U.S. beef exports, with export value up 9 percent over last year to nearly $470 million. From January through April, beef exports were up 6 percent in value to $1.72 billion despite a 10 percent decline in volume (796.1 million pounds).
Halstrom says the April results do not reflect global reaction to the recent BSE case in California, because it was not announced until April 24. But unlike cases detected in years past, he does not anticipate a major impact and says only selected markets are likely to be affected. The case did not change the United States’ controlled risk classification with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and most trading partners have reacted accordingly.
A complete summary of the April export results is available online.