Beef and Pork Exports Remain on Record Pace

Dan Beef, Exports/Imports, Livestock, Pork


Both U.S. Beef and Pork Exports Remain on Record Pace and U.S. pork exports are on a record pace through September, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Joe Schuele has more details.

Red Meat Exports Remain on Record Pace

Red Meat Exports Remain on Record Pace Through Third Quarter


Both U.S. beef and U.S. pork exports are on a record pace through September, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Beef exports posted one of the best months on record in September, with value climbing nearly 60% above last year. Pork export volume was slightly below last September, but value still increased 8%.

Beef exports continued to soar in September at 123,628 metric tons (mt), up 20% from a year ago and the fourth largest volume of the post-BSE era. Export value jumped 59% to $954.1 million – the second highest month on record, trailing only August 2021. For the first three quarters of 2021, beef exports increased 18% from a year ago to 1.08 million mt, valued at $7.58 billion – up more than $2 billion (36%) from the same period last year. Compared to the record year of 2018, January-September exports were 7% higher in volume and up 24% in value.

Pork exports totaled 219,687 mt in September, down 1% from a year ago, but value was 8% higher at $608.3 million. For January through September, exports were 1% above last year’s record pace at 2.24 million mt, while value climbed 9% to $6.23 billion.

“Facing significant logistical headwinds and higher costs, these outstanding results are really a testament to the loyalty and strong demand from our international customers and to the innovation and determination of the U.S. industry,” said USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom.

Variety meat exports a bright spot in 2021

Halstrom explained that a rebound in pork and beef variety meat exports, which took a step back last year amid COVID-related production obstacles, has been a strong source of momentum in 2021, reflecting exceptional global demand for high-value protein.

“The increase in the variety meat capture rate, and the resulting increase in exports, is especially encouraging because the labor and transportation challenges certainly have not gone away,” Halstrom explained. “But these items are commanding a strong premium overseas, making it more feasible to get them into international commerce. Variety meat exports are a great complement to our strong domestic and international demand for muscle cuts, helping maximize carcass value.”

China’s demand for U.S. pork variety meat has remained strong even as muscle cut exports to China have eased, helping push total January-September pork variety meat exports 17% above last year to 405,744 mt, valued at $949.1 million (up 26%). Beef variety meat exports, led by strong increases in Japan, Mexico, Central and South America and the ASEAN region, were 10% above last year at 226,755 mt, with value up 19% to $762.2 million.

Beef exports on pace to top $2 billion in three Asian markets

Beef exports to leading market Japan posted a strong performance in September at just under 30,000 mt, up 24% from a year ago, valued at $215.8 million (up 73%). This pushed January-September results 5% above last year at 246,380 mt, valued at $1.72 billion (up 17%).

Japan, South Korea and China/Hong Kong are all on track to be $2 billion destinations for U.S. beef in 2021, with strong growth in chilled beef exports to Japan and Korea. Through September, chilled beef exports to Japan neared 120,000 mt, up 17%, with value up 25% to $1 billion. Chilled exports to Korea were up 25% in volume (65,600 mt) and 50% in value ($744 million).

Total September beef exports to Korea were 23,363 mt, up 9% from a year ago, while value soared 67% to $207.5 million. Through the third quarter, exports to Korea were up 12% in volume (213,326 mt) and 30% in value ($1.71 billion). COVID-related restrictions on restaurants and other foodservice outlets were recently eased in both Japan and Korea, which should provide further momentum for U.S. exports.

China has been a major source of growth for U.S. beef exports in …..

A detailed summary of the January-September red meat export results is available on the USMEF website.