U.S. Pork Exports Hit Record Levels in 2019

U.S. pork exports posted new volume and value records in 2019, reaching nearly $7 billion, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), a release from the federation says.

Pork exports were up 34% year-over-year, reaching 282,145 metric tons (mt) in December, passing the previous record set in November 2019 by 9%. Export value was $760 million, which is up 44% from a year ago, and breaking the previous record, also set in November 2019, by 7% the release says. These numbers pushed 2019 exports to 10% higher than the previous year in volume (2.67 million mt) and 9% higher in value ($6.95 billion), breaking previous records for both. The previous records were 2.45 million mt in 2017, and $6.65 billion in 2014.

Pork export value per head slaughtered was $66.70 in December, nearly one-third higher than a year ago and the highest monthly average since 2014. For 2019, per-head value averaged $53.51, up 4% year-over-year, the release says. The percentage of pork production exported also set new records in December, as exports accounted for 32.1% of total pork production and 29.3% for muscle cuts only, up substantially from a year ago (26.1% and 23.6%, respectively). In 2019, exports accounted for 26.9% of total pork production, up from 25.7% and the highest since 2012. For muscle cuts only, the ratio was 23.6%, up from 22.5% in 2018.