The U.S. Meat Export Federation says export values for both U.S. pork and beef reached new heights last year, according to statistics releases by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and compiled by the USMEF.
Pork export value totaled $6.67 billion, an increase of 10% year-over-year, breaking the 2012 record by 6%. Pork export volume increased 2% to 2.18 million metric tons. The volume record is 2.62 million mt, set in 2012. One metric ton equals 2,204.622 pounds. Export statistics refer to both muscle cuts and variety meat, unless otherwise noted.
Beef export value was $7.13 billion – an increase of 16% (and nearly $1 billion) over the previous record set in 2013. Export volume was just under 1.2 million mt – which was short of the 2011 record, but up 2% year-over-year.
Exports overcame significant challenges to reach these milestones, including market access restrictions in Russia and China, an appreciating U.S. dollar and, most recently, shipping difficulties related to a labor dispute in the West Coast ports.
December pork export volume was down 5% to 183,498 mt, but value still achieved a slight increase to $541.3 million. Beef export volume in December slipped 2% year-over-year to 100,270 mt, though value still increased 17% to $643.2 million.
USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng says last year was “an outstanding year for red meat exports,” but hurdles appeared late in the year, with the West Coast port congestion troubling, because the delays faced by exporters in December have become even more severe in 2015. Seng says that if the dispute continues, the meat industry will be faced with winning back long-term customers who had been forced to seek other suppliers. The situation is especially critical because Asian markets take a large volume of chilled U.S. beef and pork, valued at more than $2 billion in 2014.
Complete 2014 export results are available on the USMEF statistics webpage.
Click here to read the complete repotr on the USMEF website.