For the past several years, U.S. pork ex­­ports to South Kor­ea have experienc­ed peaks and valleys driven by changing market conditions with­­in Korea, according to Jihae Yang, U.S. Meat Export Federation director for South Korea.

The first quarter of 2014 has been promising, with U.S. pork sales to Korea climbing 15 percent in volume and 21 percent in value to 40,143 metric tons (88.5 million pounds) valued at $116.2 million, according to the USMEF. March was a strong month, with growth of 73 percent in volume and nearly 83 percent in value.

The United States’ share of the pork export market to Korea also has grown, from 34.4 percent last year at this time to 36.7 percent this year.

However, conditions within the...