Pork exports accounted for 21% of muscle cut production and 25.3% including variety meat. This is down from 24.6% and 28%, respectively, during the first four months of 2012. Export value for the first four months of 2013 equated to $52.72 per head slaughtered, down from last year's pace of $58.84.
While January-April pork exports to Mexico were down 8% in both volume and value compared to last year, April proved to be a very strong month as volume increased 19% and value was up 20%.
Demand also improved in Canada, Columbia, Chile and the Dominican Republic.
"It is gratifying to see U.S. pork performing so well in our neighboring markets, and the April recovery in Mexico was especially critical," Seng said. "The strong results in Mexico and Canada really underscore the importance of resolving our issues with country-of-origin labeling so that our exports don't face retaliatory measures from these trading partners."
However, coming off a $2 billion performance last year, pork exports to Japan have struggled to maintain this pace in 2013. Through April, exports were down 12% in volume and 9% in value.
January-April exports of U.S. lamb increased 3% in volume and 22% in value from a year ago, led by strong results in Mexico.
Exports to Mexico increased only slightly in volume but posted a 32% increase in value to $5.4 million. Global exports of lamb variety meat, a key contributor to carcass value, increased 18% in volume and 35% in value, led by a strong performance in Canada and the Middle East.
News source: USMEF