US beef exports increase to Mexico, Korea, Europe and Africa

April shipments to Mexico up 10% over last year
calendar icon 21 June 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

April was another outstanding month for US beef exports to Mexico, buoyed by a strong peso and robust foodservice demand, according to a recent news release from the US Meat and Export Federation (USMEF). 

April shipments totalled 14,403 mt, up 10% from a year ago, while value climbed 18% to $81.8 million. For January through April, exports to Mexico increased 14% to 64,912 mt, valued at $365.4 million (up 17%). These totals included 32,912 mt of beef variety meat, up 13% from a year ago, valued at $93.9 million (up 19%). Mexico is the leading volume destination for US beef variety meat exports.

April exports to South Korea reached 24,825 mt, exceeding last April’s large volume by 7%. Export value was $201.8 million, down 13% from a year ago but the highest since August. Through April, exports to Korea were down 10% from last year’s record pace at 88,708 mt, valued at $707.1 million (down 31%). The Korean won slumped versus the US dollar in April but has since posted a modest rebound. Inflation has also recently eased in Korea, brightening the outlook for beef demand.

April exports to the European Union (plus the United Kingdom), which restricts imports to beef from non-hormone-treated cattle, totalled 2,345 mt – up 25% from a year ago and the largest since September 2019. Export value increased 32% to $31.4 million. Through April, exports to the EU+UK climbed 14% to 7,176 mt, valued at $89.8 million. British demand accounted for some of this growth, despite the fact that US beef has no duty-free access to the UK. 

Australia and New Zealand now have duty-free quotas for beef exports to the UK under their recently implemented free trade agreements, which will put US beef at a severe disadvantage. For this calendar year, the US-specific share of the EU’s duty-free High-Quality Beef Quota is 27,800 mt.

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