US beef export value higher than a year ago

Beef exports to Mexico continue to strengthen
calendar icon 19 March 2024
clock icon 2 minute read

While January beef exports to South Korea declined slightly from a year ago (18,789 mt, down 1%), export value increased 13% to $170.5 million, according to January data released by USDA and compiled by USMEF. Rising consumer prices continue to weigh on Koreans’ spending power, including sharply higher prices for fruits and vegetables due to crop issues.

The cost of dining out in Korea rose 3.8% in February, but this was actually the smallest year-over-year increase in more than two years. Although trading below a year ago, the Korean won has been relatively steady and is nowhere near the challenge of the weak Japanese yen.

Beef exports to Mexico continued to strengthen in January, increasing 15% from a year ago to 20,111 mt – the second largest since 2020 following exports of 21,325 mt in December 2023. January export value jumped 19% to $112.9 million. This was the highest value since 2020. Beef supplies remain tight in Mexico as it exports more feeder cattle to the US, imports more beef from the US and exports less beef to the US.

US beef exports to the Middle East struggled mightily in 2023 primarily due to a slowdown in beef liver shipments to Egypt, but have showed signs of a rebound the past two months. January exports jumped 68% compared to the low year-ago totals, reaching 4,869 mt, while value increased 73% to $19 million. Exports to Egypt, the largest destination for US beef livers, increased 58% to 3,627 mt valued at $5.5 million (up 33%). Exports also increased significantly to the United Arab Emirates (468 mt, up 105%), Kuwait (296 mt, up 658%) and Qatar (265 mt, up 597%), nearly all of which were beef muscle cuts. January exports to both Kuwait and Qatar were the highest since 2022.

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