July 12, 2017
US pork and beef exports performed strongly in May, with pork shipments increasing 11% to 222,015 tonnes, the fourth-largest monthly volume on record, according to statistics released by the US Department of Agriculture and compiled by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Pork export value was $583.2 million, up 16%.
May beef exports were up 6% from a year ago to 105,321 tonnes, valued at $582.6 million, up 9%.
For January through May, pork exports in terms of volume increased 14% from a year ago to 1.05 million tonnes, a record pace, and 18% in value ($2.68 billion).
May exports equated to 29.4% of total production, up from 28.4% last year. In the five months through May, pork exports accounted for 27.9% of total production, up from 25.2%.
Exports are also commanded higher prices, indicative of strong demand across a wide range of international markets, USMEF said.
Jan.-May beef exports
For January through May, beef exports increased 12% to 497,322 tonnes, valued at $2.75 billion, or 16% more than last year.
Exports accounted for 13% of total US beef production in May, down one percentage point from a year ago.
Like pork, beef export prices are increasing, especially in key Asian markets. USMEF said double-digit increases in Japan and Korea in May illustrate the strong demand for US beef.
"2017 is shaping up as a very solid year for US pork and beef exports, but we remain in an extremely competitive situation in each of our key markets", said Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO, adding that it is important to capitalise on every opportunity to increase carcass value.
"USMEF has been working with our industry partners to expand the range of variety meat product offerings and diversify their destinations, and those efforts are paying important dividends for producers", he said.
After slumping in April, US lamb exports rebounded in May, when volume reached 634 tonnes, up 14% from a year ago, and value increased 5% to $1.62 million.
Through May, lamb exports were still down 20% from a year ago in volume (3,113 tonnes) but increased 3% in value to $7.9 million.