Statistics released by the USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) show that red meat exports posted solid results in July, with volumes for both U.S. beef and pork trending higher than a year ago.
Beef export value was down five percent from last July, but pork export value increased 11 percent from last year significantly.
Exports accounted for 14 percent of total beef production in July, and 11 percent for muscle cuts only. Export value per head of fed slaughter was down 5 percent from a year ago, and down 13 percent for January through July.
Exports accounted for 27.5 percent of total pork production in July and 23 percent for muscle cuts only, an impressive jump from a year ago. Export value per head slaughtered was up 19 percent from a year ago, and down 2 percent for January through July.
Japan and South Korea remain the top performers for U.S. beef in July, with exports to Japan climbing 10 percent from last July. Korean beef exports were also significantly up, with July exports soaring 37 percent from a year ago.
U.S. beef is also in high demand in Taiwan, where July exports held relatively steady year-over-year, and exports to Egypt continued to slump in July – dropping 26 percent from a year ago in volume and 50 percent in value.
“We are pleased to see demand for U.S. beef variety meats increasing in other markets, and helping to offset the slowdown to Egypt,” said Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO. “It is a top priority for USMEF and our beef industry partners to expand the reach of beef variety meat exports and build demand in alternative destinations, and those efforts are paying off.”
July pork exports to China/Hong Kong were the smallest since February, but volume was still up 73 percent year-over-year, while value climbed 60 percent. Pork export volume to Mexico dipped down six percent in July, but value climbed 15 percent.
U.S. exports of chilled pork to Japan remain on a record pace, up 12 percent through July, and exports to Central America are continuing to shine in 2016. Through July, exports to the region increased 16 percent from a year ago in volume and climbed 8 percent in value.
“While it is encouraging to see the strong results in China/Hong Kong continue, the reality is that China’s domestic pork prices have fallen and import demand has slowed,” Seng explained. “That’s why it is so vitally important that we defend U.S. pork’s market share and further expand demand in markets around the world. The competitiveness of U.S. pork is also improving, and this should boost exports through the end of the year.”
Complete January-July export results for U.S. beef, pork and lamb are available from USMEF’s statistics web page.