Coming off the fifth consecutive record year for pork export volume to Mexico, the Mexican market shows no signs of letting up. January volume climbed nearly one-third higher than a year ago to 72,406 mt – the third-largest monthly total on record. Export value was up even more dramatically, increasing 50 percent to $128.7 million, as Mexico’s strong buying helped sustain higher U.S. ham prices.
This is excellent news for Illinois’ hog farmers. Illinois is the fourth largest state in pork production, behind Iowa, North Carolina, and Minnesota. One out of every four hogs is exported from the U.S.
Pork exports to China/Hong Kong were up 17 percent from a year ago in volume (38,012 mt) and 19 percent in value ($76.2 million). U.S. exports to China/Hong Kong peaked last May at 58,000 mt and regained momentum in November and December, averaging 47,000 mt per month, with strong buying ahead of Chinese New Year. China’s hog prices have softened following the holiday, and are down about 5 percent year-over-year.
Japan took 31,597 mt of U.S. pork in January, up 6 percent year-over-year, valued at $125.7 million (up 11 percent). Following a record year in 2016, U.S. chilled pork exports to Japan continued to grow in January, up 12 percent from a year ago to 17,619 mt.
IL Corn values its relationships with livestock farmers in the state and works to see hog numbers increase. Through its partnership with the U.S. Meat Export Federation, the Illinois corn checkoff is also used to promote pork, beef, and poultry export growth.