Exports of U.S. red meat continued to increase in value through August with U.S. pork up 6 percent to $1.96 billion and U.S. beef up 28 percent to $1.67 billion compared to the same period last year, according to the latest statistics compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) and provided by USDA.
U.S. beef and beef variety meat exports worldwide also were up 16 percent in volume to 495,829 metric tons (mt) (1.09 billion pounds) with notable gains in Central and South America as export volume increased 68 percent to 5,986 mt (13.2 million pounds) and value 64 percent to $10.9 million. This growth was driven by liver exports to Peru and frozen beef exports to Guatemala, where USMEF has used a long-term strategy, funded by the beef checkoff, to increase price competitiveness of U.S. beef products by introducing value cuts developed from the chuck and the round.
Larger markets such as Canada also showed gains with a 31 percent increase in volume to 81,380 mt (179.4 million pounds) and a 34 percent jump in value to $372.1 million. Mexico remained the No. 1 market for U.S. beef and beef variety meat exports with a volume of 235,471 mt (519 million pounds) valued at $781.5 million. USMEF expects beef prices to remain strong domestically through the rest of the year due to relatively tight cattle supplies. U.S. beef products will remain a good value internationally due to the weakness of the U.S. dollar.
U.S. pork and pork variety meat exports worldwide were down 3 percent in volume to 804,261 mt (1.77 billion pounds) through August. Japan continued as the No. 1 market with volume increasing 8 percent to 238,803 mt (526.5 million pounds) and value 13 percent to $766.9 million, more than double of the No. 2 market, Mexico.
Lower volumes in Mexico and South Korea were offset by increases in other markets like Hong Kong/China, up 61 percent to 88,103 mt and 68 percent in value to $125.7 million, and Australia, up 40 percent to 22,170 mt and 64 percent in value to $59.8 million.
U.S. pork and pork variety meat exports increased to Guatemala, where USMEF recently conducted a long-range campaign to reverse consumer perceptions that pork was unsafe to eat. Export volume through August increased 29 percent to 3,935 mt (8.68 million pounds) and 27 percent in value to $7.8 million compared to the same time period last year. Pork and pork variety meat exports to the Central and South America region also increased, 22 percent in volume to 20,865 mt (45.9 million pounds) and 21 percent in value to $44.9 million.
USMEF expects pork exports to increase in the fourth quarter as lower pork prices and the weak U.S. dollar make U.S. pork competitive in international markets.
For a complete breakdown of export statistics, visit the USMEF Statistics page.
The U.S. Meat Export Federation is the trade association responsible for developing international markets for the U.S. red meat industry and is funded by USDA, exporting companies, and the beef, pork, lamb, corn, sorghum and soybean checkoff programs.