According to statistics released by the US Department of Agriculture and compiled by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF), November pork exports totalled 225,757 metric tonnes, up 24% percent year-on-year and breaking the previous record (218,132 metric tonnes) set in October 2012. Export value was $586.8 million, up 30% from a year before and the highest since May 2014.
In the 11 months through November, pork export volume was up 7% from a year before to 2.09 million metric tonnes, while export value increased 5% to $5.38 billion.
Exports are also accounting for a larger share as November export volume equated to 28% of total production and 23% for muscle cuts only, substantially increasing over the November 2015 ratios of 24% and 21%, respectively.
For January through November, exports accounted for 25.5% of total production and 21.4% for muscle cuts-up from 24.2% and 20.9%, respectively, in 2015.
November export value averaged $55.09 per head slaughtered, up 19% year-on-year. The January-November average was $49.63 per head, up 2%.
November was also a very strong month for beef exports, which totaled 115,335 metric tonnes-up 20% year-on-year and the largest since July 2013. Export value increased 19% to $619.1 million, the highest since December 2014. This pushed January-November export volume to 1.07 million metric tonnes (up 10% year-on-year) valued at $5.72 billion (down 1%).
November exports accounted for nearly 15% of total beef production and 11.7% for muscle cuts only, the highest levels since 2014.
January-November exports of beef accounted for 13.5% and muscle cuts 10.3%, up from 13% and 10% during the same period in 2015. Beef export value per head of fed slaughter reached a 2016 high of $294.39 in November, up 5% from a year before. For January through November, per-head export value averaged $258.48, down 7%.
"With recent increases in both pork and beef production, the US industry faces a significant challenge in terms of moving these larger supplies," said Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO. "But with aggressive and well-targeted international marketing efforts, this also presents an outstanding opportunity to grow our market share in established export destinations and cultivate new opportunities in emerging markets."
January-November lamb exports were lower year-on-year in both volume (7,931 metric tonnes, down 5%) and value ($16.7 million, down 3%) due to weak variety meat demand. But lamb muscle cuts continued to trend upward, increasing 21% in volume (1,991 metric tonnes) through November and 13% in value ($11 million).
November muscle cut exports to leading market Mexico were the highest at 182 metric tonnes, and results were also bolstered by strong exports to Vietnam, Bermuda and the Netherlands Antilles.