September 10, 2018
US pork export value in July weighed down by higher duties
According to data released by the US Department of Agriculture and compiled by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF), July exports of US pork and beef, in terms of volume were higher than in 2017, totalling 176,413 tonnes and 116,575 tonnes, respectively. Pork exports increased 1.5% from July 2017, while beef exports in the same month were up 12% from last year.
The value of pork exports in July was $465.3 million, down 5% year-on-year and the lowest monthly value since February 2016.
For the first seven months of the year, pork exports were 2% ahead of last year's record volume pace at 1.45 million tonnes, while value was up 3% to $3.83 billion.
"It is encouraging to see pork export volume continue to grow, even in the face of considerable headwinds in some of our most critical markets", said USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom.
Mexico and China duties
"But as anticipated, the 20 percent duty in Mexico and 62 percent duty in China weigh heavily on the price these exports can command and on the returns generated for producers and for everyone in the US supply chain".
The duty rate on most US pork entering Mexico increased from zero to 10% in early June and from 10 to 20% in early July. Thus, July volume was down 4% year-on-year to 56,484 tonnes, while value fell 25% to $92 million.
In China, the duty rate on US pork and pork variety meat increased from 12 to 37% on April 1, and to 62% on July 6. July exports to the China/Hong Kong region totalled 22,199 tonnes, down 31% from last year, while value dropped 19% to $55.9 million.
From January to July, pork and pork variety exports to China/Hong Kong dropped 22% year-on-year in volume (238,207 tonnes) and 10% in value ($563 million). Besides the higher duty rates, the decline in pork exports was also due to an upward trend in China's domestic pork production, USMEF said in a news release.
July beef exports were valued at $722 million, up 16% from July 2017 and just slightly below the May 2018 record of $722.1 million.
In January-July period, beef exports established a record pace in both volume (779,450 tonnes, up 10% year-over-year) and value ($4.76 billion, up 20%).
"The worldwide momentum for US beef has rarely been as strong as it is today," Halstrom said. "To a large degree our mainstay Asian markets are driving this growth, but emerging markets in Asia and in the Western Hemisphere are also displaying a tremendous appetite for US beef and contributing significantly to the surge in export value".