U.S. pork and beef exports broke the $5 billion level for the first three quarters of the year according to statistics released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). This followed a September that was another strong month for red meat export value.
Pork export value was up 7% in September to $513 million, despite a 3% decline in volume (162,125 metric tons [mt]). Exports through the first nine months of the year maintained a record pace in both volume (1.64 million mt) and value ($5.05 billion), increases of 5% and 14%, respectively, from a year ago.
Pork export value per head slaughtered was $58.10 in September (+10% from a year ago) and $64.48 for January through September (+20%). Exports accounted for 27% of total pork production and 23% for muscle cuts only – up from 26% and 22%, respectively, during the first nine months of 2013.
Mexico, which is the leading volume destination for U.S. pork, continued to perform well in September – with exports totaling 58,929 mt (+17%) valued at $138.4 million (+35%). For the first nine months of the year, exports to Mexico maintained a record pace of 503,614 mt (+13%) valued at $1.16 billion (+36%).
Other January-September pork export highlights include:
- Exports to South Korea were up 37% in volume (96,667 mt) and 56% in value ($304.5 million). Pork export value to Korea has already surpassed the 2013 year-end total by more than 10%.
- The leading market for U.S. pork in the Central-South America region is Colombia, where exports were up 64% in volume (36,234 mt) and 80% in value ($101.3 million).
- Although export value to Japan has slowed the past two months, it remains the leading value market for U.S. pork. While pork muscle cut exports to Japan were down 3% in volume (298,005 mt), export value was 1% higher at $1.39 billion.
Complete January-September export totals for U.S. beef, pork and lamb are available from USMEF’s statistics webpage.