Pork Exports Falling Below Last Year, But Mexico is a Highlighted Success

The June export data compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation shows pork export volume eight percent lower than this time last year. National Pork Board’s Vice President of International Market Development Courtney Knupp says don’t let that number discourage you.

“You have to realize global pork trade right now is down 10 to 12 percent in total. So, the fact that our exports are down less than that is a win considering the entire pie has shrunk. You know, even though China’s not important in a large number of primals that they have in the past, they’re still hugely valuable for the variety meats that they’re bringing in.”

The country that imports the highest amount of U.S. pork continues to be Mexico with an increase by 18 percent in volume and 12 percent in value year-to-date through June.

“They continue to purchase large numbers of ham which is a product we really need to add value to through the export market. Our partnership with the U.S. Meat Export Federation has invested heavily, especially in this primal, they’ve been doing a campaign called Pure Pork, and we don’t just want to be only for further processing.”

Knupp says programs National Pork Board started in Mexico have become the framework for other countries.

“Pork trucks, which are mobile food trucks for sampling outside of retail and food service, have been taken to other Central American and South American countries, a lot of fabrication and merchandising work which is showing how you can break down the carcass and ways to produce either new cuts or higher value cuts.”

June pork exports totaled 219,100 metric tons, valued at $649.9 million. June year-to-date performance showed Dominican Republic volume increasing by 46 percent and value increasing by 52 percent. Visit porkcheckoff.org for more information.