US beef and pork export volumes drop

By Georgi Gyton contact

- Last updated on GMT

The value of pork exports broke the $4bn barrier between January to July
The value of pork exports broke the $4bn barrier between January to July

Related tags: Pork exports, United arab emirates, Saudi arabia, Beef, Lamb, Pork

The USA has seen year-on-year export volumes for beef and pork fall for the first time this year.

According to the latest data compiled by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF), beef exports fell 15% in volume, to 101,799 metric tons (mt), while pork fell 3% to 173,270mt, in July, compared to the same period in 2013.

However USMEF is putting a positive spin on it, noting that overall exports for the year are continuing at a "strong pace".

The value of beef exports in July "remained steady"​ at $621.7m, while pork value increased by 14% to $573.5m, despite the drop in volumes.

USMEF said that for the period from January to July 2014, the value of US pork exports exceeded $4bn for the first time before August.

Beef has continued to see strong demand from Asia, with exports to South Korea totalling 65,792mt (+12%) over the January to July period, and exports to Taiwan up 83% in volume to 3,310mt.

Philip Seng, chief executive, USMEF, said: "Demand for US beef in Asian markets has continued to strengthen this year, adding further value to cuts that are popular there and under-utilised domestically.

"With our limited supplies, competition for these cuts among Asian buyers contributes greatly to US cattle prices. USMEF continues to work with our industry partners to educate the trade about alternative cuts and merchandising ideas, so that we can deliver value to our Asian customers even in these times of historically tight supplies."

Meanwhile pork continued to perform well in Japan, despite a large increase in Japanese imports of European pork. Muscle cuts were up 2% to 245,497mt, at a value of $1.13bn (+5%).

Seng commented: "Pork exports have overcome some severe price disadvantages this year, especially in Asian markets where we compete head-to-head with European pork,"​ he explained.

"US prices began to moderate in August, so these price gaps have now been narrowed or eliminated. Going forward, this should relieve some of the price pressure on US exporters."

Lamb exports increased 3% in volume to 942mt in July. However, since January, volumes have been down 22% (6,403mt), and value down 5%. Demand in the Caribbean picked up over the month, with exports also higher to the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Panama.

Related topics: Meat

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