September 11, 2020


US pork and beef exports decline in July, but 'on way to recovery'


US exports of both pork and beef declined in July compared with last year, even as production was "returning to near-normal levels", the US Meat and Export Federation (USMEF) said.


Based on data released by the US Department of Agriculture, USMEF said July pork exports totalled 222,035 tonnes, down 5% from a year ago, while export value fell 12% to $548.3 million.


July beef exports, on the other hand, totalled 107,298 tonnes, 9% below last year, although up 36% from June. Export value was $647.8 million, down 10% from a year ago, but the highest since March.


"With production returning to near-normal levels, we definitely saw an improvement in beef exports, though the recovery was not quite as strong as expected," said USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom.


"China's pork demand has moderated and we are also entering a time when year-over-year gains are not nearly as dramatic, as exports to China began gaining momentum in mid-2019. But pork exports to Mexico showed encouraging signs of recovery in July and we also saw promising growth in several emerging markets including Vietnam and the Philippines", he added.


Pork exports to China/Hong Kong, Canada, the Philippines, Vietnam and the Caribbean increased year-on-year in July. Exports to Mexico remained below last year, but were the largest since March, while shipments to Japan were also down from a year ago but the largest since April.


During the seven-month period January to July, pork exports were 20% higher than last year at 1.78 million tonnes and 22% higher in value ($4.6 billion).


July beef exports to China increased sharply year-on-year and shipments trended higher to Taiwan, Canada and Hong Kong. They were, however, lower than a year ago to Japan and South Korea and declined significantly to Mexico.


For January through July, beef exports were 9% below those of last year at 698,907 tonnes and 10% lower in value ($4.28 billion).