USA, Washington. For the first quarter of 2019, US beef exports were slightly below last year’s record pace while pork exports continued to be slowed by trade barriers, according to March data released by USDA and compiled by USMEF.
March beef exports totaled 107,655 t, down 4% year-over-year, while value fell 2% to $678 mill. For the first quarter, exports were down 3% at 307,306 t valued at $1.9 bn. (down 0.8%).
March beef exports were very strong on a per-head basis, with export value per head of fed slaughter averaging $335.81 – up 1% from a year ago and the highest since December. The first quarter average was $309.32/head, down 2% from a year ago. March exports accounted for 13.6% of total US beef production and 11% for muscle cuts only, which was fairly steady with last March. For the first quarter these ratios were 12.9% and 10.2%, down from 13.2% and 10.7%, respectively, a year ago.
Pork exports totaled 211,688 t in March, down 7% from a year ago, valued at $520.7 mill. (down 15%). First quarter exports were 6% below last year’s pace in volume (600,268 t) and down 14% in value ($1.47 bn).
Pork export value averaged $48.55 per head slaughtered in March, down 15% from a year ago. For January through March, export value averaged $46.15 per head, down 16% from the first quarter of 2018. March exports accounted for 25.6% of total US pork production and 22.7% for muscle cuts only – down from 27.5% and 23.5%, respectively in March 2018. First quarter exports accounted for 24.4% of total pork production (down from 26.6%) and 21.3% for muscle cuts (down from 23%).