March 14, 2023


US beef exports down, pork exports up in January



The US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) said US beef exports dropped 15% in volume and 32% in value in January year-on-year, but pork exports increased 13% in volume and 16% in value, Capital Press reported.


Exports of beef to a number of major destinations decreased in January 2023, including South Korea, which was the top volume market for US beef exports. Exports to South Korea decreased by 52% in value and by 36% in volume.


The top value market for US beef exports, Japan, saw a 2% volume decline and a 20% value decline. Additionally, shipments to Hong Kong/China, another important market, were down 35% in value and 24% in volume.


Export to Mexico, the Philippines, the Dominican Republic, and Africa sharply increased. Volume in January decreased by almost 18,000 metric tonnes from the same month last year to 100,942 metric tonnes. These exports lost more than US$323 million in value, dropping to US$702.3 million.


USMEF reported that near the end of last year, beef inventories grew in some important markets, creating a challenging environment for US exports.


Dan Halstrom, USMEF President and chief executive officer, said 2023's beef exports are off to a slow start, but he expressed confidence that post COVID-19 foodservice demand will pick up in more markets as the year goes on.


US Pork exports, which had a successful year in 2022, kept up their momentum in January, when they increased by nearly 28 million metric tonnes year over year to 236,767 metric tonnes and by nearly US$88 million to US$643.4 million.


USMEF also said exports to Mexico, which finished 2022 on an impressive run and were on track to set an annual volume record, broke another record in January.


Following a record-breaking year, the top market for US pork exports, Mexico, saw record pork exports in January of 96,800 metric tonnes, up 11% from a year earlier and 7% from the previous high in December 2022. The value of exports to Mexico in January increased by 40% year over year to US$191.2 million.


Due to the suspension of import duties for all qualified suppliers through the end of 2023, Mexican demand for US pork is rising even as it faces increased competition in Mexico itselld. USMEF said Mexico recently opened its borders to some Brazilian imports.


In addition, pork exports to China/Hong Kong, Japan, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Honduras, and the ASEAN region trended significantly higher year-on-year.


The second-largest market for US pork, Hong Kong/China, saw an increase in pork exports of 31% in volume and 24% in value in January 2023.


As importers and consumers react to the recent removal of COVID-19 related restrictions and the central and provincial governments implement initiatives to revive the economy, Chinese demand is anticipated to increase somewhat in 2023, according to USMEF.


-      Capital Press

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