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New Pork Exporting Rules Now in Effect

Starting April 4, for those tracking the U.S. pork industry, USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) has implemented weekly export sales reporting for the first time.

According to U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) economist Erin Borror, weekly export sales reporting has applied for many years to beef, wheat, barley, corn, grain sorghum, oats, rye, soybeans, soybean meal and oil, flaxseed, linseed oil, sunflowerseed oil and cottonseed products.

But the requirement, which took effect on March 18, is new for pork. Only pork muscle cuts are included (not processed products, variety meats or other offal), and exporters need only report volume – not price or value.

The weekly sales information reported to FAS is completely separate from the monthly export data compiled from bill of lading documents, which record both volume and value.

Borror says these weekly sales reports should help provide a more timely indicator of pork trade activity.


USMEF says producers should note that only exporters who make a final direct sale to a foreign buyer are required to file a weekly report with FAS.

Reporting weekly export sales to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)  will allow USDA to issue weekly export sales reports to the public, allowing for information on the total volume of pork export sales and shipments to be available within two weeks of the activity, rather than the two-month period customary to exports as reported by the U.S. Bureau of the Census. More frequent reporting will improve market transparency and enable the pork commodity market to better adjust to changing export activity.

The Agricultural Trade Act of 1978 requires the reporting of exports of certain commodities and gives the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to include others. Recent amendments to that act mandated the addition of pork as a commodity for which export reporting is required. A final rule published in the Federal Register amends the Export Sales Reporting (ESR) requirements to add pork to the list of commodities covered by the program. View the final rule here:

Exporters will report the quantity, destination, and marketing year of all pork export sales totaling one metric ton or greater, including certain changes in previously reported sales. Exports of U.S. pork have nearly doubled from fiscal years 2007 to 2012. In fiscal year 2012, exports of U.S. pork and products reached more than 2.2 million tons.

A summary of the “U.S. Export Sales” report is published on the FAS Web site at, each Thursday at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.



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