For the second consecutive month, August export value for U.S. beef increased year-over-year – setting a new monthly record and keeping export value on record pace, despite declines in volume, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by USMEF, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff Program.

August beef exports overcame a 3-percent decline in volume to 225.8 million pounds to set a new monthly value record of $655.2 million – up 16 perce1nt from August 2013. For January through August, beef exports are up 3 percent in volume to 1.74 billion pounds and up 13 percent in value to $4.55 billion compared to the same period last year.

The fact that August fed beef slaughter was down 10 percent year-on-year makes the beef export-value record even more noteworthy. Export value per head of fed slaughter reached an astonishing $326.94, up 29 percent from a year ago and shattering the previous record of $299.14, set in June! For January through August, per-head export value averaged $279.48 – up 15 percent from the same period last year. Beef exports equated to 14 percent of total beef production and 11 percent for muscle cuts only – up from 13 percent and 10 percent, respectively, last year.

“International buyers are certainly concerned about supplies and whether we will be able to meet the growing demand for U.S. beef,” said USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng. “But price and supply concerns notwithstanding, their enthusiasm for U.S. beef has never been higher. We continue to see an outstanding response to our marketing campaigns and educational seminars informing buyers about the unique attributes of U.S. beef.”

January-through-August 2014 beef export highlights include:


  • Exports to Hong Kong are up 30 percent in volume to 206.5 million pounds and up 50 percent in value to $667.8 million. After slowing in July, export value rebounded 32 percent in August to reach $103.3 million.
  • Exports to Korea continue to perform extremely well, with volume up 14 percent to 167.9 million pounds and value up a whopping 44 percent to $522.1 million.
  • A strong summer performance put exports to Taiwan on a record pace, with volume up 11 percent to 50.2 million pounds and value up 16 percent to $190.6 million.
  • Exports to Mexico slowed slightly in August but remain strong for the year, totaling about 343 million pounds valued at $742 million. These totals are up 19 percent and 33 percent, respectively (though, as USMEF has previously noted, data from early 2013 may have understated last year’s exports).
  • Exports to Japan, the leading U.S. beef market, were down 3 percent in volume to 355.1 million pounds, but still increased 2 percent in value to $1.01 billion, as the U.S. continued to gain market share in Japan.


Complete January-August export totals for U.S. beef, pork and lamb are available from USMEF’s statistics webpage.