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Beef Export Value Shatters Annual Record; Pork Exports Still on Record Pace

Dan Beef, Cattle, Exports/Imports, Pork

beef export

According to new data released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), October 2021 was another strong month for U.S. red meat exports as beef export value continued to soar. October pork exports were below last year’s large total but year-to-date shipments remained slightly above the record pace of 2020.

Beef exports in October reached 115,709 metric tons (mt), up 7.5% from a year ago, while export value climbed 48% to $956.9 million. That is the second-highest total on record, behind August 2021. Through the first 10 months of the year, beef exports totaled 1.19 million mt, up 17% from a year ago. Export value increased 38% to $8.53 billion, surpassing the 2018 record ($8.33 billion) with two months to spare.

U.S. beef exports will top $2 billion this year in each of three key Asian markets – South Korea, Japan and China/Hong Kong. Exports have already surpassed previous annual records in China/Hong Kong and Central America and October exports to Colombia were record-large.

Pork exports in October totaled 226,206 mt, down 7% from a year ago, while export value slipped 3.5% to $618.8 million. For January through October, pork exports were up slightly from a year ago in volume (2.47 million mt) and increased 8% in value ($6.84 billion). Exports to Mexico continued to strengthen in October as shipments reached a new monthly high of 83,929 mt, up 38% from a year ago. January-October exports to Mexico are ahead of the record pace established in 2017. Pork exports to Central America and the Dominican Republic continued to shine in October and have already set annual records, while exports to Colombia have rebounded to pre-COVID levels.


Beef Export Value Shatters Annual Record; Pork Exports Still on Record Pace

(USMEF) — October was another strong month for U.S. red meat exports as beef export value continued to soar, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). October pork exports were below last year’s large total but year-to-date shipments remained slightly above the record pace of 2020.

Beef exports reached 115,709 metric tons (mt) in October, up 7.5% from a year ago, while export value climbed 48% to $956.9 million – the second-highest total on record, behind August 2021. Through the first 10 months of the year, beef exports totaled 1.19 million mt, up 17% from a year ago. Export value increased 38% to $8.53 billion, surpassing the 2018 record ($8.33 billion) with two months to spare.

Pork exports totaled 226,206 mt in October, down 7% from a year ago, while export value slipped 3.5% to $618.8 million. For January through October, pork exports were up slightly from a year ago in volume (2.47 million mt) and increased 8% in value ($6.84 billion).

“USMEF has always prioritized market diversification, and this is more critical than ever now that the red meat industry faces unprecedented transportation challenges and rising input costs,” said President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “Exports will likely reach about $18 billion in 2021, which is a remarkable achievement. While global demand is tremendous and we are cautiously optimistic about further growth in 2022, supply chain pressures are not easy to overcome and are a growing concern for exporters and their international customers.”

Broad-based growth puts beef exports on $10 billion pace

U.S. beef exports will top $2 billion this year in each of three key Asian markets – South Korea, Japan and China/Hong Kong. Korea and Japan are already knocking on the door, with exports through October exceeding $1.9 billion.

October beef exports to Korea increased 13% from a year ago to 21,934 mt, while value soared 57% to $212.4 million. Through October, exports were also up 13% to 235,260 mt and increased 32% in value to $1.93 billion. This growth included a 50% increase in chilled beef export value ($831 million), with chilled volume up 23% to 71,860 mt, despite ongoing social distancing restrictions impacting the foodservice sector. Restrictions were eased in November but have been largely reinstated since the emergence of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Japan remains the leading volume destination for U.S. beef, with October exports up slightly from a year ago to 23,435 mt while value climbed 35% to $198.7 million. Through October, exports were 5% ahead of last year’s pace in volume (269,815 mt) and 19% higher in value ($1.92 billion). Growth to Japan included a 15% increase in chilled beef (to 130,551 mt), valued at $1.13 billion (up 24%) on continued strong retail demand. Japan recently eased many of its COVID-related restrictions on restaurants including resumption of alcohol sales, though restaurant traffic remains significantly impacted by the pandemic.

Beef exports to China continue to capitalize on the market access gains achieved in the Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement, with October exports up nearly 150% from a year ago to 16,815 mt and more than tripling in value to $148.1 million. Through October, exports to China increased more than 500% in volume (154,857 mt) and more than 600% in value ($1.26 billion). As China’s largest supplier of grain-fed beef, the …..

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