US sees new record for beef exports

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

US sees new record for beef exports

Related tags Hong kong Beef exports International trade Export Beef

US beef exports have once again bucked records, with volumes in October increasing by nearly 6%, reaching 107,471 metric tonnes (mt).

Overall, US beef export value reached US$564.5m during October, an increase of 14%, and according to the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF), which compiled the figures, the top countries for export were Japan and Mexico, which both increased their purchases by 40% for October.

Exports to Hong Kong also increased, driving US beef sales higher, with total US beef exports for the year reaching 969,186mt – up 2% on last year – with values increasing by 11% to around US$5.1bn. Export value per head of fed slaughter averaged US$251.06, which was up US$29 on last year.

Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO, meanwhile said: “Hong Kong is clearly emerging as a major beef market, and USMEF’s initiatives there cover retail, food service and trade sectors in this highly competitive and progressive market. We are the second-largest supplier to Hong Kong, trailing only Brazil, but we are continuing to miss out on even larger opportunities in mainland China, where we have not had access since 2003.”

Yet beef was not the only top performer in October and Seng said the pork sector saw its largest-ever year on a value basis, reaching US$539.9m in value and achieving 186,637mt in volume. Yet he said the sector had seen decline of 11% and 4% respectively compared to last October.

Mexico was also the leading importer of US pork during October, with an increase in value of 5.6% to US$114.6m, yet volume declined by 2% on the previous year to 55,152mt.

Seng added there was no question that exports create jobs and support a positive balance of trade. “The European Commission sees that link and is looking to put significantly more resources into their export initiative, so we can expect to face even heavier competition in the top-value markets going forward.”

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