USA, Washington. January exports of US beef and pork were slightly below last year’s volume levels while export value posted mixed results, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
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.
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.