U.S. pork exports end H1 on positive noteStaff Writer |
Meat trade Pork exports from the U.S. reached 187,939 metric tons
U.S. pork exports ended the first half of 2016 on a positive note and exports were particularly strong to China, Canada and Central America.
Pork exports reached 187,939 metric tons (mt) in June, up eight per cent from a year ago, while export value increased 11 per cent to $505.4 million. For the first half of the year, pork export volume was up two per cent to 1.1 million mt, but value was down four per cent to $2.77 billion.
Exports accounted for 26 per cent of total pork production in June and 22 per cent for muscle cuts only – each up one percentage point from a year ago. For January through June, these ratios were 25 per cent and 21 per cent, respectively, up slightly from last year.
Export value per head slaughtered was $52.83 in June – up 10 per cent from a year ago. First-half per-head value was $48.34, down five per cent.
June pork exports to China/Hong Kong remained well ahead of last year’s pace, increasing 84 per cent in volume (50,374 mt) and 73 per cent in value ($98.8 million).
But June volume was the lowest since February, reflecting some cooling of the market. Exports to China/Hong Kong finished the first half 80 per cent higher than a year ago in volume (284,900 mt) and 63 per cent higher in value ($540.5 million).
Leading pork value market Japan showed renewed momentum in June, with exports up one per cent from a year ago in volume (32,879 mt) and six per cent higher in value ($138.1 million).
First-half exports to Japan were still down 13 per cent in volume (192,862 mt) and 10 per cent in value ($749.6 million), as record volumes of chilled US pork entering Japan (109,665 mt, up 19 per cent, valued at $485 million, up 14 per cent) were offset by lower imports of frozen product.
After a strong May performance, pork exports to Mexico took a step back in June, falling 13 per cent from a year ago in volume (54,335 mt) and five per cent in value ($105.4 million). First-half export volume to Mexico was 324,745 mt, down eight per cent from a year ago, while value fell nine per cent to $566 million.
A spike in ham prices, compounded by the weak peso, significantly impacted June export results. But with ham prices moderating by mid-July, USMEF anticipates a rebound in demand.
June results were better north of the border, as pork exports to Canada totaled 16,731 mt – up 11 per cent from a year ago and the largest of 2016 – while export value increased 13 per cent to $69.5 million. This pushed first-half exports to Canada slightly ahead of last year’s pace at 96,582 mt, while value was steady at $381.6 million.
Led by mainstay markets Honduras and Guatemala, U.S. pork posted a very strong first half in Central America as exports climbed 16 per cent from a year ago in volume (31,274 mt) and seven per cent in value ($72.5 million).
In addition to Honduras and Guatemala, exports also increased year-over-year to Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Belize.
June was also a very strong month for US pork in the Philippines, a highly competitive market that purchases large volumes of raw material for further processing.
June exports to the Philippines increased 54 per cent from a year ago in volume (3,454 mt) and more than doubled in value ($10.3 million, up 126 per cent). First-half exports totaled 15,995 mt (up six per cent) valued at $37 million (up 23 per cent). ■
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