Des Moines, Iowa – March 4, 2015 – Despite struggling for most of 2015, U.S. pork exports posted a strong finish during December, ending a tough year on a high note. December export volume was up 3 percent from 2014. For the year, U.S. pork and pork variety meat exports totaled 4.7 billion pounds in volume and $5.58 billion in value, down 2 percent and 16 percent, respectively from 2014.
“Without a doubt, 2015 was a difficult year for U.S. pork exports,” said Becca Nepple, vice president of international marketing for the Pork Checkoff. “The West Coast port slowdown, market-access challenges, the strong U.S. dollar and strong competition led to last year’s decrease in exports.”
However, pork exports accounted for 24 percent of total 2015 pork and pork variety meat production. Export value per head averaged $48.31, down 23 percent from 2014.
“With projections for increased pork production this year, the Checkoff is committed to strengthening its partnership with our international customers,” Nepple said. “The National Pork Board has allocated funding toward focused in-country promotions of U.S. pork with the U.S. Meat Export Federation during 2016.”
During 2015, more than 100 countries around the world imported U.S. pork.
The top five markets in total pounds of pork exported were Mexico (1.585 billion pounds), Japan (895.5 million pounds), Canada (747.5 million pounds), China and Hong Kong (443.1 million pounds) and Korea (369.3 million pounds).
The top five markets in total value exported were Japan ($1.586 billion), Mexico ($1.267 billion), China and Hong Kong ($778.8 million), Canada ($700.4 million) and Korea ($470.3 million).
The National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. Importers of pork products contribute a like amount, based on a formula. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, science and technology, swine health, pork safety and sustainability and environmental management.