March 14, 2017


US beef, pork exports post robust rise in January


US beef and pork exports in January rose 17% and 21%, respectively, compared with the same month last year, maintaining the solid momentum established in the fourth quarter of 2016, data released by USDA and compiled by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) showed.


Beef exports totalled 96,488 tonnes, valued at US$515.5 million, up 18% and the highest ever for the month of January. Exports accounted for 12.2% of total beef production. Export value per head of fed slaughter was $256.62, up 7% from a year ago.


Pork exports in January hit 202,667 tonnes and jumped 26% in value to $508.6 million. Exports accounted for 26.2% of total pork production, up significantly from the January 2016 share of 22.3%. Pork export value averaged $50.23 per head slaughtered, up 21% from a year ago.


"The red meat industry entered 2017 with an optimistic outlook, confident that we can continue our recent strong momentum in the international markets," said Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO.


"The January results certainly validate that feeling, but we understand that significant challenges still lie ahead. With record-large pork production and beef production also trending higher it's more important than ever that we capitalize on our abundance of protein, and move more product out of the country by growing US market share in established markets and breaking new ground in emerging destinations", he added.


January beef exports to most major destinations were higher year-on-year, but Japan and South Korea continued to be the pacesetters. Beef exports to Japan were up 34% in both volume (22,487 tonnes) and value ($125.2 million), while those to Korea achieved similar growth, with volume up 35% to 15,194 tonnes and value increasing 36% to $91.6 million. 


Beef exports to other countries also up


Other January highlights for US beef include:


-- Exports to Mexico were up 26% in volume (19,151 tonnes) and 11% in value ($76.2 million).


-- Exports to Canada also rebounded, up 8% in volume to 9,885 tonnes and 11% in value to $60.8 million.


-- Exports to Taiwan climbed 24% in both volume (3,591 tonnes) and value ($29.9 million), following a record year for export value.


-- Exports to the Asean region were up 56% in volume to 2,556 tonnes and 45% in value to $14.1 million, led by growth in the Philippines and renewed momentum for US beef in Indonesia.


Pork exports to Mexico in January climbed nearly one-third higher than a year ago to 72,406 tonnes, the third-largest monthly total on record. Export value was up even more dramatically, increasing 50% to $128.7 million, as Mexico's strong buying helped sustain higher US ham prices.


Pork exports to Japan, other countries also increased


Pork exports to China/Hong Kong were up 17% from a year ago in volume (38,012 tonnes) and 19% in value ($76.2 million).


Japan took 31,597 tonnes of US pork in January, up 6% year-on-year, valued at $125.7 million (up 11%). 


Other January highlights for US pork include:


Exports to Korea climbed 32% in volume to 16,073 tonnes and 48% in value to $45.1 million year-on-year. Korea's domestic pork prices have exceeded year-ago levels since late December due to several factors including strong demand (especially for pork belly), relatively high domestic beef prices and concerns about foot-and-mouth disease, which has impacted domestic beef production.


Exports to Central and South America increased both in volume (14,240 tonnes) and value ($33.1 million) by nearly 60% year-on-year.


Australia-a key destination for boneless hams and other raw materials for further processing-maintained its recent strong momentum with volume increasing 26% to 6,498 tonnes and value by 34% to $17.9 million.


Exports to the Dominican Republic attained a record high of 2,746 tonnes valued at $6.2 million, up 24% and 37%, respectively, from a year ago.
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