Source: Pig333.com, photo credit: P.L.U.G
Following a record-breaking March performance, exports of U.S. pork continued to build momentum in April, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
Pork exports were the sixth largest on record in April at 269,918 mt, up 2% from a year ago. Export value was $749.2 million, up 10% and the fourth highest on record. Pork muscle cuts followed a similar trajectory, increasing 3% in volume (224,179 mt) and 10% in value ($641.7 million). Through April, pork exports were 5% below last year at 1.05 million mt, valued at $2.82 billion (down 3%). Pork muscle cut exports were down 5% to 883,599 mt, valued at $2.43 billion (down 4%).
In April 2020 there were many supply chain interruptions due to COVID-19 and demand from foodservice was down. USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom said, “While it is no surprise that exports performed much better in April 2021, we are pleased to see that global demand continued to build on the broad-based growth achieved in March.”
Halstrom cautioned, however, that the COVID-19 pandemic is still a major concern for the U.S. meat industry, adding uncertainty to the business climate in many export destinations. Logistical challenges, including container shortages and ongoing vessel congestion at many U.S. ports, also present significant obstacles for red meat exports.
“While conditions are improving in many key markets, the COVID impact is the most intense it has ever been in Taiwan and heightened countermeasures are also in place in Japan and other Asian countries,” he explained.
“But foodservice activity is climbing back in our Latin American markets and retail demand – both in traditional settings and in e-commerce – has been outstanding and USMEF continues to find innovative ways for the U.S. industry to capitalize on these opportunities. We are also working with ag industry partners and regulatory agencies to find ways to improve the flow of outbound cargo, which is essential to maintaining export growth.”