May 25, 2018
US beef exports in March sets new value record
US beef exports set a new monthly value record in March and pork export value reached the second-highest level on record.
According to data released by the US Department of Agriculture and compiled by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF), March beef export value was $693.1 million, up 18% year-on-year and topping the previous high set in October 2014.
Export volume was 111,994 tonnes, up 6% from last year. In the first quarter, exports were 9% more than last year at 318,073 tonnes and jumped 19% in value ($1.92 billion).
Exports accounted for 13.6% of total beef production in March, up nearly a full percentage point from last year.
March export volume for pork was steady with last year at 227,363 tonnes, while value increased 4% to $610.4 million, trailing only the November 2017 record of $615.8 million. For the January-March quarter, volume increased 1% year-on-year to 636,297 tonnes, while value was up 8% to $1.7 billion.
Exports accounted for 27.5% of total pork production in March, down from 28% in 2017. First-quarter exports followed a similar pattern, accounting for 26.6% of total production (down from 27 percent last year).
March exports of US lamb were lower than a year ago in volume (845 tonnes, down 9%) and value ($2 million, down 10%). But for the first quarter, exports climbed 25% in volume (2,484 tonnes) and 8% in value ($5.4 million).
Growth was driven by larger muscle cut shipments to the Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Canada, the Philippines and Taiwan, and stronger demand for variety meat in Mexico, USMEF said.