US Meat exports holding strong

U.S. pork exports posted another strong performance in October, led by record-large shipments to Mexico and broad-based growth elsewhere, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). October beef exports remained well below last year’s large totals but improved from September, led by stronger demand in Mexico and Taiwan. While achieving growth in Central America, October exports of U.S. lamb trended lower overall, falling 47% from a year ago in volume (182 mt) and 28% in value ($1.13 million).

October pork exports totaled 245,345 metric tons (mt), up 3% year-over-year and the largest since June, valued at $688.2 million — down 2% from a year ago. Shipments to leading market Mexico reached new highs for both volume and value, while exports to Colombia were the largest since mid-2022 and achieved the highest value in nearly 2 years. October exports to Central America were among the largest on record and included record-large shipments to Guatemala. Exports also increased year-over-year to the Dominican Republic, South Korea and Oceania. 

For the first 10 months of 2023, pork exports increased 9% from a year ago to 2.38 million mt, with value up 6% to $6.66 billion. 

“At a time when the U.S. pork industry needs to maximize revenue, I run out of superlatives when talking about the remarkable demand we are seeing in Mexico,” said Dan Halstrom, USMEF President and CEO. “Pork exports are also achieving excellent growth across the Western Hemisphere and retaking market share in the Asia-Pacific.” 

Beef exports totaled 104,446 mt in October, down 17% from a year ago but 6% above the low volume posted in September. Export value was $836 million, down 11% year-over-year but 5% higher than September. October exports posted significant year-over-year increases in Mexico, Central America (including a record volume for Costa Rica), Taiwan, Europe and Africa, but continued to trend lower to Japan, South Korea and China. January-October exports of U.S. beef reached 1.08 million mt, down 13% from the record pace of 2022, while value fell 17% to $8.32 billion.