Pork exports for July were slightly lower than a year ago, while beef export volumes also fell. However, compared with the rest of 2012, beef volumes in July achieved their highest export figures of the year, and held steady in value.
Philip Seng, president and chief executive of the US Meat Export Federation, said: “With higher operating costs, both the pork and beef sectors are facing serious economic challenges. Tight beef supplies have pushed prices higher and strong demand from our international customers is helping support higher beef cutout values. On the pork side, an increase in US production has been offset by larger exports, helping drive the pork cutout to its peak in late June.
“With these factors in mind, it is absolutely critical that we remain aggressive with our international promotions and continue to capture the highest return possible on the products we export. Our pork and beef export value totals continue to outpace last year’s records, which is certainly a positive sign.”
According to figures for the USDA, July pork exports totalled 164,720mt, down nearly 3% from a year ago and the smallest volume since October 2010. Value also fell by less than 3% to US$467.4m.
On the beef side, July export volume, at 108,971mt, was down 9.5% compared with a year ago, but volumes appear to rebounding from earlier in the year, and July saw a 16% increase when compared with June. Value, at US$513.5m, was slightly higher than a year ago, and 11% up on June.