Impact Red meat export fairly steady in January
Beef exports slipped 1% year-over-year to 104,766 t, but value still increased 3% to $642.3 mill. Export value per head of fed slaughter pulled back from the red-hot pace of 2018, averaging $284.86, down 3% from a year ago. January exports accounted for 12.2% of total beef production and 9.7% for muscle cuts only, down from 12.4% and 10.1%, respectively, in January 2018.
January pork exports were also down 1% from a year ago at 201,835 t, with value dropping 9% to $494.1 milli. Export value averaged $44.75 per head slaughtered, down 12% year-over-year. Exports accounted for 23.6% of total January pork production, down from 24.7% a year ago. For muscle cuts only the ratio was 20.3%, down from 21.5%.
Results for both beef and pork were bolstered by stronger variety meat volumes. Beef variety meat exports totaled 26,630 in January, up 7% from a year ago, valued at $81.8 mill. (up 19%). This was fueled by strong performances in Japan, the ASEAN region and Africa. Pork variety meat exports climbed 5% year-over-year to 41,143 t, led by increases in Mexico, Japan, Central and South America and Taiwan. But value was still down 11% to $81 mill., because exports to China, the leading market for US pork variety meat, remain subject to China’s 50% retaliatory duties.