U.S. beef exports remained on a red-hot pace in June, topping $1 billion for the fifth time this year (after twice hitting $1 billion in 2021), according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Exports of U.S. pork remained below last year’s large totals in June, while lamb exports continued to trend higher.
June beef exports totaled 130,638 metric tons (mt), down slightly from the record volume posted in May but up 16% year-over-year and the fourth largest on record. Export value was $1.05 billion in June, also down slightly from the May record but 31% above last year. For the first half of 2022, beef exports increased 6% from a year ago to 743,904 mt, valued at $6.19 billion (up 33%).
“The first-half performance for U.S. beef exports was nothing short of remarkable, especially considering the growing economic headwinds in many key markets and continued shipping and logistical challenges,” said USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “The rebound in the global foodservice sector has provided a tremendous lift in 2022, even though it is still far from a full recovery in many Asian and European destinations. We definitely see opportunities for further growth, though inflationary pressure and the stronger U.S. dollar continue to raise concerns about consumer spending power.”
Pork exports reached 219,131 mt in June, down 8% from a year ago, valued at $649.9 million (down 7%). First-half exports were 18% below last year at 1.29 million mt, valued at $3.62 billion (down 16%).
“The decline in first-half pork exports was not unexpected, given the recovery in China’s domestic production and its reduced need for imports,” Halstrom said. “The good news is China’s hog price is up about 40% since mid-June and we are seeing some rebound in China’s demand for pork variety meat. Meanwhile pork shipments to Mexico remain on a record-shattering pace and demand has also strengthened in recent months in markets such as Korea, Colombia and the Caribbean. In these key destinations, the gains U.S. pork has made in the processing and retail sectors are being complemented by stronger sales in foodservice.”
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Source: U.S. Meat Export Federation