A strong performance by the top three international markets kept U.S. beef exports on an upward path in August, according to statistics released by the USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
Beef sales to Japan, Mexico and Canada all posted solid gains in August along with a resurgent Taiwan market as overall U.S. beef exports grew 5 percent in volume and 16 percent in value compared to year-ago levels, reaching 105,544 metric tons valued at $563.3 million. For the first eight months of 2012, beef exports are up 1 percent in volume and 10 percent in value to 767,017 metric tons valued at $4.01 billion.
The continued absence of the Russian market – closed to U.S. beef and pork products since February – continues to hinder exports. Excluding Russia, U.S. beef exports are up 8 percent in volume and 16 percent in value.
“Challenges appear in many forms, including market closures and disruptions, international competition and product oversupply,” said Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO. “For example, while the United States has enjoyed impressive growth in beef exports to Hong Kong, we remain locked out of the fastest-growing beef market in the world – China.”
Both pork and beef exports produced solid per-head values in August. The export value per head of fed slaughter for beef in August averaged $253.87, up $46.16 from last year.
U.S. Meat Export Federation
Artwork: Got Beef? by Jerry Gadamus