USDA: Pork exports down 10 percent in February
West Coast port labor dispute, high exchange rate of US dollar contribute to drop in pork trade
U.S. pork exports in February totaled 377 million pounds, a ten percent decline when compared to February 2014, the USDA reported.
According to the USDA Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook report released on April 15, lower pork exports were a likely consequence of the high exchange rate value of the U.S. dollar. The USDA also indicated that a labor dispute at West Coast ports, which have now been resolved, slowed both the import and the export of pork.
The federal agriculture agency also noted that U.S. pork exports to most Asian countries were lower in February, largely because of competition from European pork, denominated in lower-valued euros, with the West Coast port slowdown.
Trade with Canada, Mexico picks up
Despite an overall decline in U.S. pork exports in February, U.S. pork exports to Canada and Mexico did increase during the month. Since Mexico is the largest importer of U.S. pork and Mexico and Canada together accounted for 40 percent of all U.S. pork exports in 2014, USDA views this as a positive development.
Outlook for first quarter
USDA anticipates that exports of U.S. pork for the first three months of the year will amount to 1.125 billion pounds, which would be a 16 percent decline when compared to the first quarter of 2014.