U.S. beef exports were above last year’s pace in August, while pork exports were down slightly year-over-year, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by U.S. Meat Export Federation.
- August beef exports totaled 112,069 metric tons (mt), up 5% from a year ago and the largest of 2017.
- Export value was the second-highest on record at $679.1 million – up 20% from a year ago and trailing only the record-high value ($688.8 million) reached in October 2014.
- For January through August, beef exports increased 10% in volume (823,433 mt) and 16% in value ($4.65 billion) compared to the first eight months of 2016.
- Exports accounted for 12.5% of total U.S. beef production in August and 10.4% for muscle cuts only, compared to 13.7% and 10.3%, respectively, last year.
- For January through August, beef exports accounted for 12.8% of total production (down from 13.2%) and 10.1% (steady with last year) for muscle cuts.
- Export value per head of fed slaughter averaged $290.05 in August, up 13% from a year ago. Through August, per-head export value was up 9% to $275.81.
- Pork exports totaled 183,658 mt in August, down 2% year-over-year, valued at $511.4 million, down 0.3%.
- January-August volume remained 95 above last year’s record pace at 1.61 million mt, while export value increased 11% to $4.21 billion.
- Exports accounted for 23.1% of total pork production in August (down from 24.1% a year ago) and 19.2% for muscle cuts only (down from 20%).
- For the first eight months of the year, the percentage of total production exported was 26.9% (up from 25.4% last year).
- For pork muscle cuts only, the percentage exported was 22.4% (up from 21.3%).
- Export value per head slaughtered trended lower in August at $47.98, down 3% from a year ago, but the January-August average was still up 8% to $53.28.
- U.S. lamb export volume in August was below last year’s level at 659 mt (down 14%), but this was largest total since March and the second-largest of the year.
- Export value was up 20% to $1.72 million.
- Through August, lamb exports were down 135 from a year ago in volume (5,007 mt) but increased 10% in value to $12.8 million.
- For lamb muscle cuts only, January-August exports were up 14% in volume (1,474 mt) and 21% in value to just under $9 million. This included year-over-year growth to Mexico and Canada, along with promising increases to the Netherlands Antilles, the Bahamas, Honduras, Guatemala and Taiwan.
“As we head into the final quarter, 2017 is shaping up as a very solid year for red meat exports but one in which the U.S. industry still faces significant challenges,” said USMEF CEO Philip Seng. “We have new pork plants coming on line and strong cattle-on-feed numbers, which sends a positive signal to our international customers about product availability. But the international markets are increasingly competitive, so we must continue to aggressively pursue new opportunities for U.S. red meat products in both our traditional mainstay destinations and in emerging markets.”
Source: U.S. Meat Export Federation