US pork exports show mixed results in the first quarter of 2024

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US pork exports to South America started the year strong, while exports to Japan saw a slight decline in the first quarter, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

Growth in Exports to South America

Robust growth in Colombia fueled a significant increase in US pork exports to South America, which rose by 46% year-on-year to 36,180 metric tons. Export value jumped by 54%, reaching $103.4 million.

In Colombia, where most US pork has historically been used for further processing, the US industry continues to make gains in the retail and foodservice sectors. First-quarter shipments to Colombia increased by 50% to 32,012 metric tons, while value soared by 64% to $88 million.

The recovery of the Colombian peso from its lows against the US dollar has supported purchasing power and importer confidence. Colombia’s hog prices have also remained strong, contributing to the increased demand for US pork.

Decline in Exports to Japan

Meanwhile, first-quarter pork exports to Japan showed a slight decline compared to a year ago. Exports fell by 2% to 88,473 metric tons. Export value was down by 1% to $357.6 million, as Japan remained the #2 value destination for US pork, trailing only Mexico.

Conclusion

Overall, US pork export results in the first quarter of 2024 were mixed. On one hand, significant growth in exports to South America, particularly Colombia, demonstrates a strong demand for US pork in this region. On the other hand, a slight decline in exports to Japan indicates potential challenges in this market. Nonetheless, the US continues to be a key supplier of pork on the global market.

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