US Beef Exports Maintain Strong Pace in January

US - January exports of US beef and pork were up significantly year-over-year, maintaining the solid momentum established in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by USMEF.
calendar icon 10 March 2017
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Beef exports totaled 96,488 metric tons (mt), up 17 per cent from a year ago, valued at $515.5 million – up 18 per cent and the highest ever for the month of January. Exports accounted for 12.2 per cent of total beef production and 9.5 per cent for muscle cuts only – with both ratios being fairly steady with January 2016. Export value per head of fed slaughter was $256.62, up 7 per cent from a year ago.

“The red meat industry entered 2017 with an optimistic outlook, confident that we can continue our recent strong momentum in the international markets,” said Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO.

“The January results certainly validate that feeling, but we understand that significant challenges still lie ahead. With record-large pork production and beef production also trending higher it’s more important than ever that we capitalize on our abundance of protein, and move more product out of the country by growing US market share in established markets and breaking new ground in emerging destinations.”

Beef exports still red-hot in key Asian markets

Beef exports were higher year-over-year to most major destinations, but Japan and South Korea continued to be the pacesetters for the start of 2017. Exports to Japan were up 34 per cent in both volume (22,487 mt) and value ($125.2 million), with muscle cut exports climbing 41 per cent. Exports to Korea achieved similar growth, with volume up 35 per cent to 15,194 mt and value increasing 36 per cent to $91.6 million – maintaining the pace that carried exports to Korea over the $1 billion mark for the first time last year.

Other January highlights for US beef include:

  • Exports to Mexico were 26 per cent above last year’s pace in volume (19,151 mt) and up 11 per cent in value ($76.2 million). Exports to Canada also rebounded, up 8 per cent in volume and 11 per cent in value (9,885 mt; $60.8 million)

  • Following a record year for export value, exports to Taiwan climbed 24 per cent in both volume (3,591 mt) and value ($29.9 million).

  • Led by growth in the Philippines and renewed momentum for US beef in Indonesia, exports to the ASEAN region were up 56 per cent in volume to 2,556 mt and 45 per cent in value to $14.1 million.

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