Broad-Based Growth Drives U.S. Beef and Pork Exports to New Heights

Dan Beef, Cattle, Exports/Imports, Marketing, Pork


According to data released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), both U.S. beef and pork export values shattered previous records set back in May.

Fueled by impressive growth in a wide range of destinations, beef exports also reached a new volume high in May, while pork export volume was the third largest on record.

While May beef exports were expected to exceed last year’s low totals, export volume soared to a record 133,440 metric tons (mt), up 68% from a year ago, and value increased 88% to $904.3 million. May marked the third consecutive monthly value record for beef exports, which had never exceeded $800 million before March 2021. For the year thus far, beef exports reached 587,838 mt, up 15% from a year ago, while value increased 22% to $3.84 billion.


May pork exports totaled 283,617 mt, up 16% from a year ago and the third largest on record. Export value exceeded $800 million for the first time in May, climbing 31% to $813.2 million. For January through May, pork exports were slightly below last year’s record pace at 1.34 million mt, but export value increased 3% to $3.63 billion.

May exports of U.S. lamb were the highest of 2021 at 1,377 mt, up 43% from a year ago, and valued at $1.82 million, up 67%. Through May, exports were 53% above last year’s pace at 5,733 mt, with value increasing 16% to $7.43 million.

A detailed summary of red meat export results, including market-specific highlights, is available on the USMEF website.