October meat export results released by USDA last week and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation, showed another outstanding month for U.S. pork exports to Mexico.
Pork export value to Mexico – $1.3 billion – has already broken the full-year record set last year ($1.22 billion), and export volume to Mexico is on pace to set a new record for the third consecutive year, USMEF says.
The group is in its third year of a campaign designed to improve the consumer image of pork in Mexico and raise the overall consumption level.
Regional Director Chad Russell says because the United States was already the dominant foreign supplier of pork to Mexico – holding about 36% of the overall market and nearly 90% of the imported pork market – the group had to shift its focus to increasing per capita consumption in the country.
"Mexico has some serious constraints in terms of producing pork in the volumes it needs," he said.
According to USMEF, educating consumers about the nutritional benefits of pork and showcasing the value and variety pork delivers for their diet was central to the campaign.
In the three years since the campaign began, annual per capita pork consumption in Mexico has increased by about 10% – or an average of 3.3% per year – and now exceeds 16 kilograms.
"2012 was a record year, 2013 was a record year and we have every reason to expect that 2014 will be a record year," Russell said. "All of those record years coincide with the campaign."
On a global basis, January-October pork exports are 4 percent ahead of last year's pace in volume (1.87 million metric tons) and up 13% in value ($5.61 billion).