US beef exports up, but pork hit by Russia and Japan

By Carina Perkins

- Last updated on GMT

US beef exports up, but pork down
US beef exports up, but pork down

Related tags International trade Japan Hong kong Us meat export federation Beef Lamb Pork

US beef exports continued to climb in September, but pork exports have been hit by Russian restrictions and a downturn in the Japanese market, according to the latest statistics from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The data, compiled by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF), revealed that US beef export volumes rose nearly 5% in September compared to the same period in 2012, while value rose 14%.

This was partly driven by a strong performance in Asia, with volumes to Japan up 37% in volume and 16% in value compared to September 2012, and volumes to Hong Kong up 102% in volume and 183% in value. However, USMEF said it also reflected a rebound in the Mexican market, with export volumes to Mexico up 65% year-on-year and value up 56%.

For the year to date, beef export volumes are sitting 1% up on the levels recorded in the same period last year, with value up 10%.

Pork exports also benefited from strong performance in Asia, with exports to the China/Hong Kong region up 14% in volume and 24% in value in September compared to September 2013. Shipments to the ASEAN region also increased during the month, by 45% in volume and nearly 47% in value.

However, overall exports were hampered by continued restrictions for US pork in Russia and a competitive Japanese market. Overall pork exports were down 5% in value and 9% in volume for the month, while year-to-date volume and value was down 5%.

“On the beef side, the industry aggressively pursued the opportunities available for US product when market access was expanded in Japan and Hong Kong, and we are seeing exciting growth in both those markets,”​ said Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO.

“On the pork side, we are continuing to face challenges from strong competition in Japan, which is driving down our market share, and access issues with Russia continue to hamper our industry, both in pork and beef.”

Lamb exports remain mixed, with a 3% year-on-year decline in volume, but a 10% increase in value to $21.5m for the year. Double-digit declines in shipments to Mexico and Canada offset double-digit growth in exports to the Caribbean, with total volumes down 42%. Export values for lamb fell more than 17% to $1.9m for the month.

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