U.S. beef exports continue to run ahead of last year’s record pace, according to September statistics released by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) this week.
Beef exports were 5% higher in September (1% higher for the year), fueled by a 37% volume increase to Japan, 65% increase to Mexico, and 102% increase to Hong Kong.
“On the beef side, the industry aggressively pursued the opportunities available for U.S. product when market access was expanded in Japan and Hong Kong, and we are seeing exciting growth in both those markets,” says Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO.
All told, the U.S. exported 94,698 metric tons of beef in September valued at $505.5 million. That accounted for 13% of total beef production and 11% of muscle cuts (vs. 13% and 10%, respectively, last September).
The export value per head of fed slaughter in September was $249.00, up from $227.65 a year ago.
At the same time, it’s worth keeping in mind that more pork is staying in the U.S.
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Despite a boost in pork exports to the China/Hong Kong region and strong sales to the ASEAN region, September pork exports were 5% less in value in September and 9% less in volume. For the year, both the volume and value of pork exports are 5% less.
“We are continuing to face challenges from strong competition in Japan that is driving down our market share (for pork), and access issues with Russia continue to hamper our industry, both in pork and beef,” Seng explains.
In fact, the decline in pork exports to just Japan and Russia amounts to nearly all of the reduction in pork export volume this year, and more than the total decline in export value.
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