Weekly USMEF Audio Report: Strong Demand in CAFTA-DR Region Bolsters U.S. Pork Exports

CLICK HERE to learn more about the USMEF

DENVER, CO – June 18, 2019 – With U.S. pork facing trade barriers in some of its largest destinations, building strong demand in Central America and the Dominican Republic has been especially critical for the U.S. pork industry. Exports to Central America are coming off a record performance in 2018, and through April of this year were up another 11% in volume (29,321 metric tons) and 8% in value ($68.3 million). Honduras and Guatemala are the largest Central American markets for U.S. pork, but growth leaders in 2019 include Costa Rica, where exports have increased more than 40% year-over-year, and Panama, where shipments are up more than 30%.

Exports to the Dominican Republic – the largest destination for U.S. pork in the region covered by the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) – are also ahead of last year’s record pace, with exports through April totaling 14,170 metric tons valued at $31.1 million.

Gerardo Rodriguez, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) regional marketing director for Mexico, Central America and the Dominican Republic, notes that educational programs have been an essential component of USMEF’s promotional efforts in the CAFTA-DR region, as more customers now appreciate the high quality of U.S. pork and understand the importance of not overcooking the product. He adds that U.S. pork has benefited tremendously from the market access gains secured in CAFTA-DR. By lowering tariff rates and creating larger tariff rate quotas (TRQs), this agreement has expanded opportunities for a wide range of U.S. pork cuts in the region’s retail, foodservice and processing sectors.

Gerardo Rodriguez on U.S. pork success in CAFTA region 6-17-2019

The U.S. Meat Export Federation (www.USMEF.org) is the trade association responsible for developing international markets for the U.S. red meat industry. It is funded by USDA; the beef, pork, lamb, corn and soybean checkoff programs, as well as its members representing nine industry sectors: beef/veal producing & feeding, pork producing & feeding, lamb producing & feeding, packing & processing, purveying & trading, oilseeds producing, feedgrains producing, farm organizations and supply & service organizations.   

Submitted to the BARN by:

Joe Schuele

Vice President, Communications

U.S. Meat Export Federation

303-226-7309 (office)

303-547-0030 (mobile)



By Tucker Allmer - The BARN

Tucker Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.

%d bloggers like this: