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Exports have strong year finish, part 2

Led by a record-shattering performance in Mexico and broad-based growth in other markets, U.S. pork exports set a value record in 2023, according to year-end data released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation. 

U.S. pork exports saw other highlights.

• Despite a slight decline in shipments to leading-market China, pork-variety-meat exports reached new heights in 2023, climbing 9 percent year-over-year to 585,806 metric tons, valued at $1.37 billion. In addition to outstanding growth in Mexico, variety-meat exports also increased impressively to the ASEAN, Canada, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Taiwan. China remained the largest destination for variety-meat shipments at 335,591 metric tons, valued at $854.6 million.

• December pork exports to South Korea surged 64 percent from a year ago to 23,912 metric tons – the largest in more than four years. Export value increased 69 percent to $81.9 million, the most in more than five years and the third-best on record. Those results pushed 2023 exports 9 percent more than the previous year at 191,262 metric tons, the third-largest on record. Export value increased 4 percent to $633.4 million, the second-most on record.

• Led by excellent growth in Chile and Peru, and a fourth-quarter rebound in leading-market Colombia, pork exports to South America increased 2 percent in volume and 10 percent in value during 2022. After a slow start to the year, shipments to Colombia regained momentum and reached 98,876 metric tons, a decrease of 3 percent year-over-year; value increased 10 percent to a record $272 million. Exports to Chile climbed 39 percent to 15,733 metric tons, valued at $53.1 million, while shipments to Peru increased 23 percent to 2,298 metric tons, valued at $6.5 million.

• With shipments almost doubling to both Australia and New Zealand, pork exports to Oceania rebounded strongly in 2023. Exports to the region were the largest since 2020, increasing 98 percent year-over-year to 79,718 metric tons, while value climbed 79 percent to $283.5 million. Due to product restrictions, most pork shipments to Oceania are raw material for further processing. However the region also has a growing appetite for value-added U.S. processed products.

• Led by increased volumes to the Philippines and Vietnam, and surging demand in Malaysia, pork exports to the ASEAN reached 64,158 metric tons in 2023, an increase of 22 percent year-over-year. Export value declined slightly, decreasing 4 percent to $150 million. Exports to Malaysia, where African swine fever has weighed heavily on domestic production, soared by almost 1,700 percent to 5,170 metric tons, valued at $16.3 million. Malaysia’s imports of European pork were also record-large – more than 44,000 metric tons through November.

• Though pork exports to Japan decreased in 2023, December shipments increased 9 percent year-over-year to 26,826 metric tons, valued at $111.5 million. For the full year exports declined 4 percent to 342,163 metric tons. While export value decreased 5 percent to $1.4 billion, Japan is the second-largest value destination for U.S. pork, trailing only Mexico.

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