Aug 19, 2019

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In the first half of the year, US pork exports decreased by 2% compared with the same period in 2018. The decline comes despite 3% growth in slaughter, on the back of an expanding breeding herd.
In addition to the lower volumes, there was a 3% decrease in pork export prices over the 6 months. However, prices were 3% above last year in the second quarter. This reflects the increasing influence of rising Chinese demand on global pork prices. Overall, the value of exports in the first half of the year totalled $2.3 billion, down 5% on the previous year.
Export volumes did pick up somewhat in the second quarter (+0.8% year-on-year), as Chinese import demand increased such that some product was able to overcome the substantial tariff barrier. Although, shipments to China remained below the 2016 level.
Mexico remained the primary market for US pork exports, but there was a 20% decline in shipments across the first half of the year overall. The decline did slow in June, following the removal of restrictive tariffs on US imports, but volumes remain well below historic levels. Reports suggest demand is poor, influenced by rising global pork prices, which reduce import competitiveness.
Supplies to Japan also recorded a 5% decline on a year earlier as the industry loses market share to the EU and Canada.
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