Pork exports from the United States to Mexico are expected to grow in 2015, but at a less rapid pace than they have over the past three years.

From January to November 2014, U.S. pork exports to Mexico totaled 617,000 metric tons, worth a record $1.42 billion, up 10 and 31 percent respectively from 2013, based on data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's most recent data. Based on that, full-year 2014 exports should be 630,500 metric tons, up 12 percent from 2013, according to University of Missouri economist Ron Plain. He predicts 2015 sales to Mexico will be 649,000 metric tons, just a 3.1 percent bump from 2014.

According to a Reuters report, the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) puts total 2014 U.S. pork exports to Mexico at about 680,000 metric tons, an 8 percent rise from 2013, valued at $1.6 billion, up 28 percent, the third straight yearly record for both tonnage and value to Mexico.

The USMEF projected another record year for export volume to Mexico in 2015 but with growth at a more modest pace of 1.5 percent to about 690,000 metric tons.

Porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus, which has killed an estimated 8.5 million pigs in the United States since May 2013, is one factor behind Mexico's aggressive buying in 2014.

The virus had spread to 17 of Mexico's 19 producer states by May 2014.

Pork prices in Mexico rose to near-record highs in 2014 but should come down in 2015 as PEDv shortages start to ease, Mexico swine veterinarian Dr. Alberto Stephano said.