Record Value for Mexico Fuels August Pork Exports, Beef Sees Modest Rebound

Although August exports of U.S. pork were steady year-over-year, beef exports were well below the large totals of August 2022, reports the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Data released by USDA and compiled by the USMEF show pork exports were led by another tremendous performance in Mexico and beef exports showed improvement over July results.


August pork exports totaled 226,519 metric tons, which USMEF points out is steady with last year. However, export value fell 1.5% to $649.5 million. Exports to leading market Mexico remained on a record pace and set a value record in August at $211.7 million. Exports trended higher year-over-year to Japan, Canada, Central America, the Dominican Republic, Oceania and Taiwan. 

During the first eight months of 2023, pork exports have been 11% above last year’s pace at 1.91 million metric tons, valued at $5.32 billion and up 9%.

“I cannot say enough about Mexico’s remarkable demand for U.S. pork and the critical revenue these exports drive for the U.S. industry,” USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom said in a release. “But the story of this year’s export growth extends well beyond Mexico, as demand is climbing in other Western Hemisphere destinations and the U.S. industry is also achieving gains in several Asia-Pacific markets.” 


August beef exports totaled 109,000 metric tons and were down 19% from last year when export volume was the second highest on record. But USMEF notes beef exports had a 6% increase over July. Meanwhile, export value was $883.9 million, down 15% year-over-year but 9% above July.

Exports to Mexico continued to trend higher in August, USMEF points out. Shipments to Guatemala were the second highest on record and exports to South America were the largest in more than a year. In addition, August exports increased year-over-year to Africa and the Dominican Republic. Exports to leading markets South Korea and Japan were well below last year, but improved over July. 

For January through August, beef exports trailed last year’s record pace by 12% in volume at 881,343 metric tons and 19% in value at $6.69 billion.

“Beef exports certainly face significant headwinds, especially in our large Asian markets where foodservice has been slow to recover and consumer confidence is low due to the impact of rising prices and the strong U.S. dollar,” Halstrom said in a release. “But exports to South Korea and Japan did bounce back to some degree after a difficult July. Mexico continues to be a major bright spot for U.S. beef, and exports to other Western Hemisphere partners in Central and South America and the Dominican Republic also gained momentum in August.”