U.S. pork exports rebounded in March to reach the strongest monthly reading since May 2021, with growing demand observed across the globe. 

According to USDA data compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation, pork exports are off to a strong start this year with export volume up 17% year-over-year in March. Export value increased 18% over last year to reach $724 million. The March value and volume numbers were both top-10 months in the history of the commodity's recorded figures.

Export growth has been observed across the globe, with strong increasing demand in the Western Hemisphere.

In March, the U.S. exported 95,030 metric tons of pork worth $197.7 million to Mexico. The volume is the second-highest monthly total on record for the country, trailing only January 2023. The Dominican Republic, Caribbean and newly opened Brazilian markets observed double-digit increases in export growth. 

The Asia-Pacific region has received more U.S. pork exports as local production continues to be stunted by African Swine Fever infections and import tariffs remain low. March pork volume exports to the Philippines were 65% higher than a year ago, reaching 5,077 mt. Exports to Malaysia are at a “record pace,” USMEF said, with quarterly volume at 556 mt compared to just 73 mt a year ago. 

“With consumer activity in the region rebounding toward pre-COVID levels and U.S. pork very competitively priced compared to European products, 2023 holds excellent potential for broad-based growth,” said Dan Halstrom, USMEF president and CEO. 

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U.S. pork exports for the first quarter were valued at $1.96 billion, a 15% increase over the same period last year. Volume exports reached 716,691 mt.

Beef exports are solid, but strong 2022 figures are keeping the sector from matching the year-over-year growth in the pork complex. 

March beef exports increased to meet October 2022 levels. Volumes totaled 120,495 metric tons – a 5% decline from a year ago – and value declined 17% from the previous year to reach $892.6 million. Despite the declines from the same time in 2022, volume and value numbers remain the highest in five months. 

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