The U.S. exported 523.79 million pounds of pork during March, a new record. That was up 16.3% from the month before, up 15.6% from a year ago, and up 2.7% from the old record set in November 2016.
Mexico, South Korea, Japan and Colombia are the leading growth markets for U.S. pork exports, with Mexico accounting for more than half the increase. Sales to China and Hong Kong are lower. March exports equaled 23.1% of the month’s pork production. The pork export demand index has been up double digits each month since October.
The peak year for U.S. pork exports was 2012. Through March, 2017 U.S. pork exports are 17.1% ahead of last year and less than 1% behind January-March 2012. USDA expects the 2017 pork export total to slightly exceed the 2012 record. Because U.S. pork production is growing much faster than the U.S. population, export growth will be crucial to maintaining pork prices.
Pork Exports on Track for All-Time High