Twenty-four percent of U.S. May pork production was exported in May 2016, and the level of U.S. pork muscle cut exported during that month (157,937 metric tons [MT]) increased 7.2% compared with April 2016, reaching the largest monthly export volume of the year (see Figure 1 and Table 1).  On the other hand, as indicated by USDA in the June 6, 2016 edition of the Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook (LDP) report, the currencies of main importers of U.S. pork such as Japan, Canada, and South Korea appreciated 3% against the U.S. dollar in April 2016 compared to March 2016. Nonetheless, exports in April of this year (147,364 MT) declined 4.2% from the previous month and 9.3% from a year earlier. Exports during April 2015 were particularly large as a result of the resolution of labor issues in the West Coast that hampered U.S. pork exports for most of the first quarter of 2015.

Overall, from January to May 2016, U.S. pork muscle cut exports reached a volume of 721,831 MT, increasing 1.5% year-over-year but falling 3.4% from 2014 (see Figure 1). So far this year (January through May 2016), 21% of U.S. pork production has been exported. The value of U.S. pork exports ($ 1.907 billion) during the first five months of 2016 was 7% lower than a year ago, reflecting lower pork prices this year, particularly during the first quarter of the year, and reduced pork exports in the key markets, particularly in Japan, the leading value market for U.S. pork.

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