USA, Washington. September exports of US beef were steady with last year in volume, but export value trended lower, according to data released by USDA and compiled by USMEF. Pork exports were above year-ago levels in September but pulled back from the large totals posted in June, July and August.
September beef exports totaled 109,799 t, essentially even with last year, valued at $661.3 mill. (down 4%). Through the first three quarters of the year, beef exports were 2% below last year’s record pace in both volume (991,325 t) and value ($6.1 bn.).
September exports accounted for 14.6% of total US beef production and 11.9% for muscle cuts only, down from 14.8% and 12.4%, respectively, last year. Through the first three quarters of the year, exports accounted for 14.3% of total beef production and 11.6% for muscle cuts, down from 14.6% and 12.1%, respectively, in 2018.
January-September highlights for US beef include:
- Beef exports to Taiwan remain well ahead of last year’s record pace, climbing 10% in volume (47,868 t) and 6% in value ($427.3 mill.). In just nine months, exports to Taiwan have already surpassed all full-year totals posted before 2018.
- Led by impressive growth in Indonesia, beef exports to the ASEAN region were 31% ahead of last year’s pace in volume (44,481 t) and 15% higher in value ($214.5 mill.). Exports to Indonesia soared 74% in volume (16,984 t) and were 42% higher in value ($60.5 mill.). Demand for beef variety meat increased at an even more rapid pace in Indonesia, jumping 83% in volume (9,207 t) and 78% in value ($18.4 mill.).
- Strong September results in Central America pushed beef exports 8% above last year’s pace in volume (11,351 t) and 13% higher in value ($64.6 mill.), led by strong growth in Guatemala and Panama.
- Although volume slowed in September, beef exports to the Dominican Republic remained on a record pace, increasing 39% from a year ago in volume (6,594 t) and 32% in value ($53.2 mill.).
September exports accounted for 25.1% of total US pork production.
September pork exports increased 13% from a year ago in both volume (202,248 t) and value ($532.2 mill.). These results pushed January-September export volume 5% ahead of last year’s pace at 1.9 mill. t, while value increased 2% to $4.89 bn.
September exports accounted for 25.1% of total US pork production, slightly higher than a year ago, and 21.7% for muscle cuts only (down slightly). January-September exports accounted for 26.3% of total pork production and 22.8% for muscle cuts, both up slightly from a year ago.
January-September highlights for US pork include:
- While September exports slowed to mainstay market Colombia and to the region as a whole, pork exports to South America were still 24% above last year’s record pace in volume (114,535 t) and 26% higher in value ($287.9 mill.). Chile has been South America’s growth pacesetter in 2019, with exports climbing 60% in volume (33,992 t) and 53% in value ($97.6 mill.). The US is now Chile’s largest pork supplier and opportunities continue to expand as more Chilean pork is exported to China.
- A strong September performance pushed pork exports to Central America 16% above last year’s record pace in volume (67,982 t) and 19% higher in value ($165.1 mill.). Exports trended higher to Honduras, the largest Central American destination for US pork, and Guatemala, Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua have achieved excellent growth in 2019.
- Exports to Oceania continue to reach new heights, climbing 37% from a year ago in volume (85,557 t) and 33% in value ($243 mill.), with impressive growth in both Australia and New Zealand.
- While ASF has impacted pork production in Southeast Asia, especially in Vietnam but more recently spreading into the Philippines, lower domestic prices have affected the ASEAN region’s demand for imports. U.S. shipments to the ASEAN dropped sharply in September and through the third quarter trailed last year’s pace by 15% in volume (41,905 t) and 23% in value ($95 mill.). However, pork and hog prices have started to trend higher in Vietnam and the European Union’s pork exports to Vietnam were record-large in August, suggesting potential for larger US exports in coming months.