At year-end 2016, U.S. pork exports showed impressive progress following a challenging 2015. In 2016, 5.1 billion pounds of pork and pork variety meats valued at $5.94 billion dollars were exported, up 8 percent and 7 percent respectively from 2015, according to the USDA.
“We saw a strong 2016 for U.S. pork exports, but we still face challenges with increased global competition and a stronger U.S. dollar,” said Becca Nepple, vice president of international marketing for the Pork Checkoff. “The Checkoff is committed to bolstering its partnership with international customers through additional funding of in-country promotions of U.S. pork with the U.S. Meat Export Federation.”
On average, U.S. pork and pork variety meat exports accounted for 25.8 percent of total pork production in 2016. Export value returned an average $50.20 per head back to producers. During 2016, more than 100 countries around the world imported U.S. pork.
- The top five markets by volume were Mexico (1.61 billion pounds), China/Hong Kong (1.21 billion pounds), Japan (854.8 million pounds), Canada (452.2 million pounds) and Central and South America (299.7 million pounds).
- The top five markets by value were Japan ($1.56 billion), Mexico ($1.355 billion), China and Hong Kong ($1.075 billion), Canada ($798.5 million) and Korea ($365.1 million).
With more pork available in the U.S., the National Pork Board recently approved an increase of 12.7 percent in funding for 2017 export market activities. This financial commitment translates into tangible marketing activities that increase U.S. pork exports to emerging and developing markets.
According to Nepple, promotions and marketing activities will focus on displacing other proteins and global competitors and on promoting larger pork cuts.
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.
For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675 or check the Internet at www.pork.org.