2018 was a record year for U.S. pork exports to South America, driven in large part by strong increases in pork muscle cut shipments to Colombia and Peru, which increased about 40% year-over-year.
Even with December data still to be reported, U.S. pork and pork variety meat exports to South America already exceeded the previous highs set in 2017, with volume increasing 24% to 120,059 metric tons (mt) and value up 17% to $292.3 million.
For pork muscle cuts only, exports to Colombia were up 39% to just over 83,000 mt, while the volume shipped to Peru climbed 40% to 5,240 mt.
Click above to hear Jessica Julca, South America representative for U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), explain how the U.S. pork's popularity with Colombian processors is the main factor behind the U.S. being Colombia's leading pork supplier, but U.S. pork is also making strides in Colombia's retail and foodservice sector.
In Peru, USMEF has worked with the domestic industry to help overcome negative perceptions about pork, leading to gains in pork consumption. Improvements in cold storage and distribution facilities have also made consumers outside the Lima metropolitan area more accessible, and U.S. pork is capitalizing on these opportunities.