USA, Washington. US pork exports continued to post very strong results in August, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF), while beef exports were below the record-large totals of August 2018.
August pork exports increased 22% from a year ago to 221,586 t, while export value climbed 19% to $588.8 mill. These results pushed January-August export volume 4% ahead of last year’s pace at 1.7 mill. t, while value increased 1% to $4.35 bn.
August exports accounted for 27.1% of total US pork production and 23.7% for muscle cuts only, up significantly from a year ago (21.9% and 19.2%, respectively). January-August exports accounted for 26.4% of total pork production and 23% for muscle cuts, both up slightly year-over-year.
August beef exports totaled 114,119 t, a 4% decline from last year’s large volume, while export value ($690.3 mill.) was down 8%. January-August beef exports were slightly below last year’s record pace, declining 2% in volume (881,526 t) and 1% in value ($5.44 bn.). August exports accounted for 14% of total US beef production and 11.3% for muscle cuts only, down from 14.3% and 12.2%, respectively, last year. Through the first eight months of the year, exports accounted for 14.2% of total beef production and 11.6% for muscle cuts, down from 14.6% and 12.1%, respectively, in 2018.
Highlights for US pork include:
- Led by steady growth in mainstay market Colombia and surging demand in Chile, exports to South America climbed 28% above last year’s record pace in volume (105,344 t) and 30% in value ($264.7 mill.). Shipments to Peru cooled in August but have also contributed to export growth in 2019.
- Exports to Central America were 16% above last year’s record pace in volume (60,727 t) and 19% higher in value ($147 mill.). Honduras and Guatemala are the largest Central American destinations for US pork, and exports trended higher to both markets. Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua also contributed to regional growth, with exports increasing by double digits.
- Exports to Oceania were up 38% from a year ago to 77,556 t, while value increased 32% to $217.1 mill. A key destination for hams and other muscle cuts used for further processing, exports to Australia jumped 36% from a year ago to 69,692 t, valued at $192.5 mill. (up 31%). Growth to New Zealand was also impressive, with exports up 52% in volume (7,864 t) and 48% in value ($24.6 mill.).
- While January-August exports to South Korea were down 9% from last year’s record pace in volume (145,690 t) and fell 10% in value ($411.8 mill.), August exports were up significantly as volume climbed 27% to 14,336 t and value surged 35% to $42.2 mill. In mid-September, South Korea confirmed its first cases of African swine fever (ASF), with 13 outbreaks reported in the northwest corner of the country near the border with North Korea. While the disease is still confined to a relatively small area, ASF is certainly a pressing concern for Korea’s domestic pork industry.
- ASF has also impacted pork production in Southeast Asia, especially in Vietnam but also recently spreading into the Philippines. While US exports to the ASEAN trailed last year’s pace by 10% in volume (35,164 t) and 19% in value ($81.1 mill.), the region’s need for imported pork is likely to trend higher in coming months.
Highlights for US beef include:
- Exports to Mexico, the third-largest international market for US beef, were slightly lower than a year ago in volume (156,528 t, down 1%), but value increased 5% to $729.5 mill. Beef variety meat exports to Mexico were down 3% from a year ago to 62,504 t, but commanded better prices as export value increased 12% to $166 mill.
- Although beef exports to Taiwan were modestly lower year-over-year in August, January-August exports were still 10% above last year’s record pace in volume (42,785 t) and 7% higher in value ($383.9 mill.).
- Led by surging demand in Indonesia and solid growth in the Philippines and Vietnam, beef exports to the ASEAN region were 27% above last year’s pace in volume (37,206 t) and 12% higher in value ($180.6 mill.).
- Strong August results in Central America pushed exports 4% above last year’s pace in volume (9,898 t) and 10% higher in value ($56.7 mill.), led by a strong performance in Panama and steady growth in Guatemala and Honduras.
- Beef exports to the Dominican Republic continue to reach new heights, as volume increased 45% from a year ago to 6,060 t, while value climbed 35% to $48.6 mill.