US and Canada both suffered first quarter pork export falls this year

Pork exports from the US fell by 15% year on year in the first quarter of 2015 while Canadian exports in the same period recorded a volume decline of 3% compared with Q1, 2014, according to BPEX.

The US fall, which happened despite the country’s pork production increasing in Q1, reflected the current strength of the dollar, which led to products from the US being less competitive on the global market.

“Higher volumes of competitively priced pork for export from the EU are providing increased competition for US pork shipments,” added BPEX, while also noting that labour disputes at some West Coast US ports slowed exports to some key Asian markets.

“Consequently, much of the fall was driven by declining exports to Japan and China, down 9% and 81% respectively.”

The drop in volume was compounded, for US producers, by a fall in average unit price in dollar terms, leading the total value of US exports to be down 19% year on year.

The decline in Canadian exports, meanwhile, was due mostly to the Russian ban on imports from Canada, reducing shipments to Russia, the third largest market a year ago, to almost nothing in Q1, 2015.

During the first quarter of 2014, in fact, Canada had benefitted from Russian bans placed on pork from the EU and the US. It was a sharply different story this year, however, despite shipments to many of Canada’s largest markets actually increasing, with exports to the US up 30%, those to Japan increasing 7%, Mexico up 43% and South Korea up 51%.


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