Rapid Start for 2024 Pork Exports; Beef Export Value Above Year-Ago

U.S. pork exports raced to a great start in 2024, according to January data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). While January beef exports were slightly below last year’s volume, export value trended significantly higher, as USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom details in this audio report. Lamb exports were also strong in January, posting the highest value in more than four years.

Although January pork exports were led by another powerful performance in leading market Mexico, U.S. pork continued to make gains in a wide range of Western Hemisphere and Asia-Pacific destinations. With momentum continuing to grow in South Korea, Central and South America, Australia and Malaysia, pork exports totaled 251,424 metric tons (mt) in January, up 6% from a year ago. Export value also increased 6% to $682.1 million.

January beef exports totaled 99,764 mt, down 1% from a year ago. But export value climbed 9% to $763.8 million, as value trended higher year-over-year to South Korea, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Central America, the Caribbean and Hong Kong. Beef variety meat exports increased 12% from a year ago to 23,138 mt, while value climbed 16% to $89 million, led by growth in Japan, Egypt, Mexico, Korea, Peru and China/Hong Kong.

January exports of U.S. lamb totaled 303 mt, up 28% from a year ago and the largest since March. Export value increased 53% to $1.7 million, the highest monthly value since December 2019. Export growth was led by the Caribbe.