U.S. beef exports set another new value record in August, topping the $1 billion mark for the first time. Information released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) also notes pork exports saw another strong month in August, remaining ahead of the record pace set last year.
Led by record shipments to China and the largest exports of the year to Japan, August beef exports totaled 132,577 metric tons (mt). Export volume was up 21% from a year ago and the second largest of 2021, while export value climbed 55% to $1.04 billion. For January through August, beef exports increased 18% from a year ago to 955,407 mt, with value up 34% to $6.62 billion. Exports were also 6% higher in volume and up 20% in value compared to the record pace established in 2018. In addition to setting new records in China, beef exports are also on a record pace to South Korea and Central America.
Pork exports totaled 225,822 mt in August, up 4% from a year ago, and value increased 20% to $633.9 million as record shipments to Mexico and strong growth in several other markets helped offset the expected slowdown in muscle cut exports to China. For January through August, exports were 1.5% above last year at just over 2 million mt, while value climbed 10% to $5.62 billion. Pork exports are on a record pace to Mexico, Central America and the Dominican Republic, and chilled pork exports to Japan and South Korea are above last year.
A detailed summary of the January-August red meat export results can be found on the USMEF website.