August 8, 2022
US beef exports at torrid pace in first half of 2022
US beef exports remain on a torrid pace through the first half of 2022.
Shipments of beef to foreign consumers topped US$1 billion for the fifth time this year and remain on pace to average US$1 billion per month.
For the first half of 2022, beef exports increased 6% from a year ago to 743,904 tonnes, valued at US$6.19 billion (up 33%), according to data released by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and compiled by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
"The first-half performance for US beef exports was nothing short of remarkable, especially considering the growing economic headwinds in many key markets and continued shipping and logistical challenges," said USMEF president and chief executive officer Dan Halstrom. "The rebound in the global foodservice sector has provided a tremendous lift in 2022, even though it is still far from a full recovery in many Asian and European destinations. We definitely see opportunities for further growth, though inflationary pressure and the stronger US dollar continue to raise concerns about consumer spending power."
June beef exports totaled 130,638 tonnes, down slightly from the record volume posted in May but up 16% year-over-year and the fourth largest on record. Export value was US$1.05 billion in June, also down slightly from the May record but 31% above last year.
While beef export growth has been largely driven by major Asian markets such as South Korea, China/Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan, exports are also trending higher to the ASEAN region, the Caribbean, Central America, Europe and the Middle East.
Exports of US pork remained below last year's large totals in June, but saw a surge in exports to Mexico, Columbia and the Dominican Republic.
"The decline in first-half pork exports was not unexpected, given the recovery in China's domestic production and its reduced need for imports," Halstrom said. "The good news is China's hog price is up about 40% since mid-June and we are seeing some rebound in China's demand for pork variety meat.
"Meanwhile, pork shipments to Mexico remain on a record-shattering pace and demand has also strengthened in recent months in markets such as Korea, Colombia and the Caribbean. In these key destinations, the gains US pork has made in the processing and retail sectors are being complemented by stronger sales in foodservice."
Pork exports reached 219,131 tonnes in June, down 8% from a year ago, valued at US$649.9 million (down 7%). First-half exports were 18% below last year at 1.29 million tonnes, valued at US$3.62 billion (down 16%).