Exports of fresh and frozen pork from the US increased by 5%, year-on-year, during the first quarter of 2016, according to AHDB Pork.
Based on figures released by the US department of commerce, the Q1 increase amounted to an extra 372,000 tonnes being placed on the world market, growth which was largely driven by a “significant increase” in the volume of pork shipped to China, which was nearly four times more than the same period a year earlier.
“At the end of 2015, China relisted 16 establishments from the US that participate in the ractopamine-free programme, which has meant that these facilities are now eligible to export to China,” said AHDB Pork. “It may be expected, therefore, that US shipments to China will continue to increase throughout the year.”
Mexico was once again the largest importer of US pork, although volumes were down by 9% in Q1 versus the same period last year, possibly assisted by the strong dollar.
While export volumes of fresh/frozen US pork increased throughout the quarter, the value of shipments fell 8%, compared with Q1 2015, with the average unit price falling by 13% year on year.