U.S. pork exports have a solid start to 2021, year-over-year numbers are down

The National Pork Board is responding to the latest export numbers. Pork exports are showing a solid start for 2021, despite lower year-over-year numbers.

In January, volume was down by 9 percent with value down 13 percent, but the National Pork Board’s Clay Eastwood says that the overall growth rate into China is pretty strong.

According to Dr. Eastwood, “Despite the continued 25 percent retaliatory duty on U.S. pork and pork variety meats going into China, one of the really positive pieces that we saw there was that variety meats were actually up significantly compared to a year ago. So, we saw on the pork variety meat front, there’s a good bit of optimism and movement there so that’s pretty positive.”

Some economists say that pork prices could go up as China continues battling African swine fever. Eastwood admits there will be challenges for this year, but says that U.S. pork has the opportunity to help fill global demand.

“I think that if we can get past some these logistical and labor issues and some of the issues we’ve seen on the west coast in terms of ports and containers, I think that there’s a real opportunity for U.S. pork to help fill the demand for protein around the world,” she adds.

She goes on to say that demand remains strong in Japan, which is a critical market for U.S. pork exports.


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