Through the first five months of 2011, U.S. pork exports are up 16 percent in volume (916,763 metric tons) and 22 percent in value ($2.35 billion) over 2010. This is due in large part to exceptional results in South Korea, China and Japan.U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Economist Erin Daley Borrordiscusses the performance of these markets in this audio podcast. She notes that exports to Korea have already exceeded the totals achieved in the entire calendar year of 2010, in part because of a major swine herd culling due to foot-and-mouth disease. China also finds itself in a time of short hog supplies, which has had a major impact on the pork offal market.

Exports to Japan are coming off a record-setting value year in 2010, yet exports are up 18 percent to more than $790 million. Daley Borror also notes that pork exports to Mexico – the largest volume market for U.S. pork – had slowed in April but rebounded strongly in May. As a result, global exports are even running ahead of the all-time record pace set in 2008. If market conditions hold up reasonably well in the second half of the year, Daley Borror says U.S. pork export value will likely eclipse the $5 billion mark for the first time ever in 2011 (breaking the 2008 record of $4.88 billion).

To hear the podcast click here