October U.S. pork exports were almost 493 million pounds, 2.2 percent above October 2011 numbers, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture report. For the first 10 months of the year, U.S. pork exports totaled almost 4.5 billion pounds, more than 7 percent higher than the same period of 2011.

Strong year-over-year gains through July 2012 were largely due to shipments to China-Hong Kong. In October, year-over year lower shipments to Japan (-1.1 percent in October and -5.2 percent for January–October) and China-Hong Kong (-61.6 percent in October and +16.5 percent for January–October) were more than offset by strong exports to NAFTA partners Mexico (+32.8 percent in October and +15.6 percent for January–October) and Canada (+20.3 percent in October and +17.4 percent for January–October), and Russia (+75 percent in October and +45 percent for January–October).

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U.S. pork imports in October were almost 4 percent below 2011 numbers, due mostly to lower imports from Denmark, according to the USDA. Imports of live swine from Canada were fractionally higher in October (+0.56 percent). Imports of feeder pigs (23–50 kilograms) were 36 percent higher than in 2011, likely due to strong prices for finishing animals in the U.S. Strong imports of feeder pigs offset year-over-year lower imports of all other categories of imported live swine.