According to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), U.S. beef exports posted another outstanding performance in August, remaining well above last year’s pace. Joe Schuele has the story.
Another Strong Month for U.S. Beef Exports; Pork Exports Slightly Lower Year-over-Year
U.S. beef exports posted another outstanding performance in August, remaining well above last year’s pace, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by USMEF. August pork exports increased from the previous month but were down slightly year-over-year.
August beef exports totaled 112,069 metric tons (mt), up 5 percent from a year ago and the largest of 2017. Export value was the second-highest on record at $679.1 million – up 20 percent from a year ago and trailing only the record-high value ($688.8 million) reached in October 2014. For January through August, beef exports increased 10 percent in volume (823,433 mt) and 16 percent in value ($4.65 billion) compared to the first eight months of 2016.
Exports accounted for 12.5 percent of total U.S. beef production in August and 10.4 percent for muscle cuts only, compared to 13.7 percent and 10.3 percent, respectively, last year. For January through August, beef exports accounted for 12.8 percent of total production (down from 13.2 percent) and 10.1 percent (steady with last year) for muscle cuts. Export value per head of fed slaughter averaged $290.05 in August, up 13 percent from a year ago. Through August, the per-head export value was up 9 percent to $275.81.
Pork exports totaled 183,658 mt in August, down 2 percent year-over-year, valued at $511.4 million, down 0.3 percent. January-August volume remained 9 percent above last year’s record pace at 1.61 million mt, while export value increased 11 percent to $4.21 billion.
Exports accounted for 23.1 percent of total pork production in August (down from 24.1 percent a year ago) and 19.2 percent for muscle cuts only (down from 20 percent). For the first eight months of the year, the percentage of total production exported was 26.9 percent (up from 25.4 percent last year). For pork muscle cuts only, the percentage exported was 22.4 percent (up from 21.3 percent). Export value per head slaughtered trended lower in August at $47.98, down 3 percent from a year ago, but the January-August average was still up 8 percent to $53.28.
“As we head into the final quarter, 2017 is shaping up as a very solid year for red meat exports but one in which the U.S. industry still faces significant challenges,” said USMEF CEO Philip Seng. “We have new pork plants coming online and strong cattle-on-feed numbers, which sends a positive signal to our international customers about product availability. But the international markets are increasingly competitive, so we must continue to aggressively pursue new opportunities for U.S. red meat products in both our traditional mainstay destinations and in emerging markets.”