Friday, July 7, 2017

Red Meat Exports Continue Strong

U.S. pork and beef exports posted a strong May performance, increasing significantly from the previous month and from year-ago levels, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

Pork exports reached 222,015 metric tons (mt) in May, up 11 percent year-over-year and the fourth-largest monthly volume on record. Pork export value was $583.2 million, up 16 percent. For January through May, exports increased 14 percent from a year ago in volume (1.05 million mt, a record pace) and 18 percent in value ($2.68 billion).

Even with the growth in U.S. pork production, exports account for a larger share in 2017. May exports equated to 29.4 percent of total production and just under 25 percent for muscle cuts only – up from 28.4 percent and 24.3 percent, respectively, last year. Through the first five months of 2017, exports accounted for 27.9 percent of total production and 23.2 percent for muscle cuts (up from 25.2 percent and 21.3 percent). Exports are also commanding higher prices, indicative of strong demand across a wide range of international markets. Export value per head slaughtered averaged $58.61 in May, up 7 percent from a year ago. The January-May average was $54.23, up 14 percent.

May beef exports totaled 105,321 mt, up 6 percent from a year ago, valued at $582.6 million, up 9 percent. For January through May, beef exports were up 12 percent in volume (497,322 mt) and 16 percent in value ($2.75 billion) compared to the same period last year.

Exports accounted for 13 percent of total U.S. beef production in May and 10 percent for muscle cuts only – each down one percentage point from a year ago. Through May, these ratios were steady with last year’s pace – 12.8 percent for total production and 10 percent for muscle cuts. Export value per head of fed slaughter averaged $265.55 in May, matching the average from a year ago. Through May, per-head export value averaged $270.27, up 8 percent. Beef export prices are also increasing, especially in key Asian markets, with double-digit increases in Japan and Korea in May illustrating the strong demand for U.S. beef.

Source: U.S. Meat Export Federation

Artwork: red meat with a knife