Pork and beef exports dip with mixed markets
Pork exports were down slightly in September but continue to maintain a strong pace, according to data from the USDA and an analysis from the U.S. Meat Export Federation.
U.S. pork exports totaled 221,140 metric tons in September, down less than 1% from a year ago, while export value fell 4% to $643.7 million. September export value to Mexico increased 18% year over year to $207.6 million, the third-highest month on record.
The USDA said exports also increased strongly to Central America and Australia and trended higher to the Caribbean, Taiwan, New Zealand, Vietnam and Malaysia.
For the first three quarters of 2023, pork exports increased 9% year over year to 2.13 million mt and climbed 7% in value to just under $6 billion, led by record-large shipments to leading market Mexico.
“Pork exports achieving another $200 million month in Mexico is fantastic,” USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom says in a news release. “But the good news doesn’t end there, as growth in regions such as Central America, the Caribbean and Oceania helped offset lower shipments to China and Japan.”
Beef exports continued to struggle compared to last year’s record totals, but strength is growing in several Western Hemisphere markets.
September beef exports totaled 98,757 mt, down 15% from a year ago and the lowest of 2023, while value fell 12% to $795.5 million. Exports were lower across the board to major Asian destinations but gained momentum in Mexico, Canada, Central America, Colombia and Africa.
For January through September, beef exports were 13% below last year’s record pace in volume (980,100 mt) and down 18% in value ($7.49 billion).
“U.S. beef continues to face tough sledding in our Asian markets, where weakness in major currencies persist and consumer confidence remains guarded,” Halstrom says. “In the past few weeks we have seen several Asian trading partners step up efforts to stimulate their economies and ease pressure on consumers.
“In the meantime, bright spots for U.S. beef continue to emerge in the Western Hemisphere, led by strong demand in Mexico.”