Colombia Pork Market Potential

posted by David Miller on Friday, March 15, 2019

Pork Trade Prospects for the United States and Colombia

One of the roles I fill is the International Programs Consultant for the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.  In that role, I support IFBF in their international trade relationships.  Recently, IFBF participated in a meat trade mission to Colombia to help create new opportunities for Iowa meat exports to Colombia.

Colombia offers good opportunity for increasing sales of US pork.  The US currently has a 79% market share of all pork and pork variety meats imported by Colombia.  The most recent data on Colombia meat imports shows annual imports of 50,698 metric tons of pork and 4,313 metric tons of pork variety meats.  Per capita pork consumption in Colombia is 8.5 kilograms per year or about 18.7 lbs per year per person.  That compares to 50.8 lbs of per capita pork consumption in the U.S.  Colombia imports about 16% of their pork consumption and produces 84% domestically.

Sixty percent of the U.S. pork exported to Colombia goes for further processing; 10% goes directly to the Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional use (HRI); and 30% is sold through retail outlets. The top imported pork cuts from the U.S. are: boneless ham and picnics, St; Louis ribs, spare ribs, and trimmings.  The top pork variety meats imported from the US are: feet, skin, heart, whole brisket bones. 

The U.S. market share in Colombia has increased significantly since the Free Trade Agreement between the U.S. and Colombia was implemented in 2012.  The U.S. market share of pork exports to Colombia has risen to 79%, up from 74 percent in 2015 and 71 percent in 2014.

US Pork Exports

US Pork Exports

Colombia Setting Record

What is driving the growth in Colombia meat imports:

  • Domestic production not growing as quickly as consumption, leading to an influx of imports (especially with demand for raw materials for processing)
  • Per capita consumption increased by an average of 11% per year from 2007 - 2017, and further per capita consumption increases will drive larger imports
  • U.S. benefits from preferential duties under its FTA with Colombia that was implemented in 2012, and the U.S. has had over 50% market share since 2013

Colombian Pork Consumption

US Imports

US Dominates Colombia's Pork Imports

Analysis of international trade statistics which show opportunities and challenges for U.S. exports is one of the capabilities of Decision Innovation Solutions (DIS).  If you would like more information on trade statistics, contact Dave Miller, Chief Economist for DIS at

About The Author

David Miller

David Miller, Chief Economist, contracts with Decision Innovation Solutions to provide economic analysis and business development services. He is responsible for building, maintaining and enhancing business relationships, developing new product lines and service offerings, and collaborating with ... read more