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North American news round-up: US pork production declines, exports increase

2022 ended well for US pork exports, with those in November the largest of 2022 in both volume and value, according to data released by US Department of Agriculture and compiled by US Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

“Pork exports reached 245,663 metric tons (mt) in November, up 3% from a year ago, while export value climbed 10%,” states the USMEF. “In both volume and value, exports were the highest since May 2021. For January through November, pork exports were 10% below the previous year at 2.43 million mt (down 7%).”

US pork exports to Mexico and China
US pork exports to Mexico set a value record in November, topping € 184 million for the second consecutive month. The volume was unprecedented at 87,809 mt.

All this is partly due to excellent growth in demand for variety meat products (mostly in Mexico but also in China), which were up more than 25% year-over-year at just over 50,000 mt.

USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom says the recent suspension of import duties in Mexico has meant more competition for US pork but marketing efforts about quality and value have paid off.

Industry consultant Dennis Smith recently reported added recently that “excellent demand” for ham, mostly from Mexico, has resulted in steady historically-elevated prices of that product.

Smith believes that as the pandemic eases in China, demand for US pork will be strong.

Record-shattering exports to Dominican Republic
US pork export demand will also be strong this year in the Dominican Republic (DR) and the Philippines. African Swine Fever recently decimated this.

The USMEF reports that exports to the DR had already set annual records through October 2022, and demand further intensified in November. Shipments reached a record 10,229 mt in November, up 70% from a year ago and up notably from the previous high of 8,966 mt in April.

“Similar to Mexico, the DR temporarily suspended import duties on red meat and poultry in June, heightening competition in the market, but the decree suspending these duties recently expired, meaning the US is once again the only major pork supplier with duty-free access,” states the USMEF.

“Imports from other major suppliers are subject to the DR’s most-favored-nation rate of 25%. Canadian pork exports to the DR fell back to zero in November after gaining some momentum when duties were suspended.”

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