January 9, 2020


US pork exports in November reach new highs; beef down 3%


US pork exports in November 2019 surged 26% year-on-year to 259,812 tonnes, valued at $712.7 million, up 32% from a year before. It was the best month ever both in terms of volume and value, according to data released by the USDA and compiled by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF).


The November export volume was 11% above the previous high set in July 2019, while value also broke the previous record (also from July 2019) by 14%.


During the 11-month period from January-November, exports increased 7% to 2.39 million tonnes valued at $6.19 billion, 6% higher compared with the same period in 2018.


Pork exports are now on pace to exceed previous records for both volume (2.45 million tonnes in 2017) and value ($6.65 billion in 2014).


US pork export growth in November continued to be driven by demand from China/Hong Kong, with volume climbing to 86,213 tonnes, up 284% from 2018. Value, at $204.9 million, was up 240%. For January through November, exports to the region increased 71% to 554,789 tonnes, while value, at $1.18 billion, was up 49%.


US beef exports in November, meanwhile, were below those of the previous year. They totalled 108,662 tonne, down 4% from 2018, valued at $658.1 million (down 7%).


For January through November, beef exports trailed 2018's record pace by 3% in both volume (1.21 million tonnes) and value ($7.4 billion). However, 2019 is already the second-highest year for beef export value, trailing only the 2018 record of $8.33 billion.


Japan is still the largest destination for US beef exports, although shipments through November were down 6% from a year before (287,090 tonnes) and dropped 7% in value ($1.8 billion). USMEF noted, though, that the outlook is very positive for 2020 in that on Jan. 1, US beef gained tariff relief in Japan that brings rates in line with key competitors.