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Solid US Export Figures for Beef, Pork, Lamb

07 November 2014

US - September saw strong exports for US beef and pork while lamb also registered double-digit increases.

With September being another strong month for red meat export value, both US beef and US pork exports broke the $5-billion dollar mark for the first three quarters of the year, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

September beef exports increased six per cent from a year ago in volume to 100,068 metric tons (mt), and soared 25 per cent in value to $631.9 million. For January through September, exports were up three per cent in volume (890,276mt) and 15 per cent in value ($5.18 billion).

Pork export value was up seven per cent in September to $513 million, despite a three per cent decline in volume (162,125mt). Exports through the first nine months of the year maintained a record pace in both volume (1.64 million mt) and value ($5.05 billion), increases of five per cent and 14 per cent, respectively, from a year ago.

USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng, said: “These are impressive results, especially given the headwinds we faced in September – including a very strong US dollar, a significant decline in beef production and our first full month of dealing with Russia’s retaliatory import ban. It was just three years ago that US pork and beef exports eclipsed the $5-billion mark for the first time in an entire calendar year, so it’s very gratifying to see our industry reach these mileposts by the end of the third quarter.”

Beef exports surge despite lower slaughter numbers

With herd rebuilding gaining traction in the US beef industry, fed slaughter numbers have trended lower. September export value reached $313.67 per head of fed slaughter – down from the record set in August but 26 per cent higher than a year ago.

For January through September, per-head export value was $283.29 – up nearly $40 from the same period last year. Exports equated to 14 per cent of total beef production and 11 per cent for muscle cuts only – up from 13 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively, last year.

Leading market Japan was the pacesetter for September beef exports, with volume climbing 36 per cent from a year ago to 23,195mt and value up 55 per cent to $155.7 million. For January through September, exports to Japan were steady in volume (184,293mt) and seven per cent higher in value ($1.17 billion).

Other January-September beef export highlights include:

  • Exports to Hong Kong were up 26 per cent in volume (106,423mt) and 45 per cent in value ($768.3 million).
  • Export volume to South Korea was up 12 per cent to 84,873mt, while value soared 41 per cent to $590.5 million.
  • The summer surge in exports to Taiwan moderated in September but the market remains on a record pace in both volume (25,445mt, +9 per cent) and value ($215.1 million, +16 per cent).
  • Exports to Mexico totalled 178,812 mt (up 19 per cent), valued at $860.8 million (up 34 per cent). Though as USMEF has previously noted, data from early 2013 may have understated last year’s exports.

Pork exports to Mexico remain on record pace

Pork export value per head slaughtered was $58.10 in September (+10 per cent from a year ago) and $64.48 for January through September (+20 per cent). Exports accounted for 27 per cent of total pork production and 23 per cent for muscle cuts only – up from 26 per cent and 22 per cent, respectively, during the first nine months of 2013.

Mexico, which is the leading volume destination for US pork, continued to perform very well in September – with exports totaling 58,929mt (+17 per cent) valued at $138.4 million (+35 per cent). For the first nine months of the year, exports to Mexico maintained a record pace of 503,614mt (+13 per cent) valued at $1.16 billion (+36 per cent).

Other January-September pork export highlights include:

Exports to South Korea were up 37 per cent in volume (96,667mt) and 56 per cent in value ($304.5 million). Pork export value to Korea has already surpassed the 2013 year-end total by more than 10 per cent.

The leading market for US pork in the Central-South America region is Colombia, where exports were up 64 per cent in volume (36,234mt) and 80 per cent in value ($101.3 million).

Although export value to Japan has slowed the past two months, it remains the leading value market for US pork. While pork muscle cut exports to Japan were down three per cent in volume (298,005mt), export value was one per cent higher at $1.39 billion.

September lamb exports maintain positive momentum

US lamb exports achieved a year-over-year increase for the third consecutive month in September, up 10 per cent in volume (844mt) and 14 per cent in value ($2.16 million). For January through September, exports were still 17 per cent lower in volume (8,054 mt) and down two per cent in value ($21.1 million).

Exports to leading market Mexico edged higher for the year, increasing four per cent in volume (6,726mt) and five per cent in value ($11.2 million) Exports also expanded to the Caribbean, Panama, the Philippines and the United Arab Emirates, partially offsetting lower totals for Canada.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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