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Tourism, ASF boosts demand for U.S. pork in Dominican RepublicTourism, ASF boosts demand for U.S. pork in Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic has been a leading region for U.S. pork demand, seeing a 126% increase by volume over the previous year.

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Smoked Ribeye Pork Chop.jpg
National Pork Board

U.S. pork exports reached their highest level of 2022 in May in both volume (224,677 metric tons) and value ($655.1 million). While Mexico continues to be the leading market for U.S. pork, the Dominican Republic is exhibiting dramatic growth, with May exports more than doubling from a year ago and year-to-date shipments running 40% above last year's record pace.

According to Lucia Ruano, the U.S. Meat Export Federation representative in the Dominican Republic, the domestic pork supply is still highly impacted by African swine fever.

"They have lost 20% of their production so that has turned to import more U.S. pork. I was speaking last week with some of the importers over there and they said that they don't believe that they are going to recover the numbers of production they used to have before ASF because now producing the meat is expensive for them," Ruano says.

Demand for higher-end pork cuts is also growing in the Dominican Republic. With support from USDA and the National Pork Board, USMEF promotes U.S. pork as an affordable option for hotels and restaurants, which are seeing a strong rebound in tourist traffic. U.S. pork is also featured in the country's rapidly growing retail sector, and demand for pork raw material is strong among Dominican processors.

"They are encouraging tourism to come again to the country. This month, they reached a number of more than 700,000 tourists and that's a record number after the pandemic. So they have been importing more high end cuts of pork because they are introducing all of these new cuts into foodservice," Ruano says. "We have regular cuts in retail, processors are also importing a lot of raw material for their products to process their products. But now we have this new channel, we are seeing more cuts like pork ribeye, like New York, like French chop that we can find them now as another option of the center of the plate in restaurants."

Source: U.S. Meat Export Federation, which is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

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