Variety meat demand boosts US beef and pork exports

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Photo: USMEF

Strong variety meat exports helped offset lower volumes for beef and pork muscle cuts in October, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

October beef exports were up 2% from a year ago to 109,858 t, while export value was a record-high of $687.1 mill. - up 22% from a year ago. Muscle cut volume was down 2% to 76,472 t, but still increased 19% in value to $596.5 mill.. Variety meat exports increased 14% in volume (33,386 t) and 39% in value ($90.6 mill.).

For January through October, beef export volume was up 3% from a year ago to just over 1 mill. t. Export value reached $5.87 bn. - 15% ahead of last year's record pace.

October pork exports were down 2% in volume (182,363 t), but still achieved a 5% increase in value ($567.2 mill.). These results were also bolstered by strong variety meat exports, which were up 24% in volume (51,440 t) and 23% in value ($101.9 mill.) from a year ago. Pork muscle cut exports were down 10% in volume (130,923 t), but increased 2% in value to $465.3 mill.

Through the first 10 months of 2014, pork export volume was 4% higher than a year ago at 1.83 mill. t. Export value is on a record pace, up 13% to $5.61 bn.

Japan, Korea and Hong Kong drive beef export growth


October beef exports equated to 15% of total production and 11% of muscle cut production, compared to 13.5% and 11%, respectively, a year ago. For January through October, exports equated to 14% of total production and 11% for muscle cuts (up from 13% and 10%). Export value per head of fed slaughter was $321.28 in October (up $70 from a year ago) and $287.32 for January-October (up $42.80).

Exports to leading market Japan were exceptionally strong in October, increasing 25% in volume (22,586 t) and 54% in value ($164 mill.). For January-October, exports totalled 206,879 t (up 2%) valued at $1.33 bn. (up 11%).

Other January-October beef highlights include:
  • Exports to South Korea were up 12% in volume (96,040 t) and 41% in value ($674.9 mill.). October export volume was the largest of the year at 11,167 t.
  • Exports to Hong Kong have already set a new annual value record of $898 mill., easily surpassing the 2013 full-year total of $823.3 mill. October export volume was the largest ever at 16,779 t.
  • Led by strong growth in the Dominican Republic, exports to the Caribbean were up 20% in volume to 19,042 t and 26% in value to $124 mill. - just short of the full-year value record ($127 mill.) set in 2012.

Pork exports to Mexico set new value record

October pork exports equated to 24% of total production, which was steady with last year, but just 18% of muscle cut production - down from 20% in October 2013. For January-October, exports equated to 27% of total production (up from 25.6%) and 22% for muscle cuts (up from 21.5%). Export value per head slaughtered was $56.99 in October (up 10% from a year ago) and $63.63 for January-October (up 19%).

Exports to leading volume market Mexico continue to shine, with January-October volume reaching 563,601 t - up 12% from a year ago. Export value was up 35% to $1.3 bn. - already breaking the full-year value record ($1.22 bn.) set in 2013. Since USMEF launched efforts to bolster overall pork consumption in Mexico in 2011, demand has increased significantly and exports are on pace to set a new volume record for the third consecutive year.

Other January-October pork highlights include:
  • After a down year in 2013, exports to Korea have rebounded. Export volume was up 42% to 108,187 t, while value increased 64% to $345.4 mill.
  • Led by export growth to Colombia, exports to the Central/South America region remain on a record pace, increasing 7% in volume (99,349 t) and 19% in value ($277.4 mill.) from a year ago.
  • Muscle cut exports to leading value market Japan were down 4% in volume (328,338 t) but value was steady with last year at $1.54 bn. As noted above, Japan is one of the markets in which large volumes of relatively inexpensive European pork have limited U.S. growth.

Lamb exports still trending upward

U.S. lamb exports continue to recover from a slow start in 2014, achieving a year-over-year increase for the fourth consecutive month. January-October exports were still down 15% in volume (8,956 t) and 1% in value ($23.5 mill.), but posted solid growth in the Caribbean, the
United Arab Emirates, Panama and the Philippines.

Lamb muscle cut exports were 5% below last year's pace in volume (2,432 t), but increased 7% in value to $14.3 mill.
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