March 1, 2018
US beef export value in 2017 reaches record high
Last year was record-breaking for US beef exports, whose value exceeded $7 billion for only the second time, according to data released by the US Department of Agriculture and compiled by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
Beef export value reached $7.27 billion, up 15% year-on-year and 2% above the previous high achieved in 2014 ($7.13 billion).
Beef export volume totalled 1.26 million tonnes, up 6% from 2016. This was the fourth-largest volume on record and the second-largest in the post-BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease) era.
"This was a remarkable year for beef exports, in our mainstay markets in northern Asia as well as emerging destinations in South America, Southeast Asia and Africa", said USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom.
"The US beef industry gained significant market share in Japan despite considerable obstacles, and posted a record-breaking performance in South Korea and Taiwan. These markets are especially critical for chilled beef exports, which were up about 25 percent year-over-year. This had a tremendous impact on carcase value".
Beef exports accounted for 12.9% of total production in 2017 and 10.4% for muscle cuts only, down from 13.7% and 10.5%, respectively, in 2016. Beef export value averaged $286.38 per head of fed slaughter, up 9% from 2016 and the second-highest on record, trailing only the $300.36 average posted in 2014.
Japan solidified its position as the leading market for US beef in 2017, with volume climbing 19% year-on-year to 307,559 tonnes and value up 25% to $1.89 billion-new post-BSE records.
Chilled exports to Japan expanded even more rapidly, reaching 148,688 tonnes (up 32%) valued at $1.102 billion (up 37%) as US beef captured more than half of Japan's imported chilled beef market-a new high for US market share.