USMEF: Pork demand in Mexico remains highlight for exports

DENVER — US pork exports in August were steady year-over-year with the help of another tremendous performance in the Mexican market, according to data collected by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) from the US Department of Agriculture.

Pork export volume in August totaled 226,519 tonnes, steady compared with a year ago, while export value reached $649.5 million, down 1.5% compared to the same month in 2022.

Through the first eight months of the year, total pork exports increased 11% to 1.91 million tonnes and valued at $5.32 billion, up 9%.

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

For August, Mexican pork exports remained strong at 91,297 tonnes, up 12.5% from 2022. Exports were valued at $211.7 million, a record high, which was up 9%. 

Pork exports to Japan in August increased 5% from a year ago to 28,418 tonnes, with value also increasing 11% to $119.2 million. 

August exports of US lamb muscle cuts totaled 107 tonnes, down 14%, with export value falling 18% to $678,000.

Total beef exports for August stood at 109,000 tonnes, with export volume down 19% from a year ago when volume was the second highest on record, according to USMEF. However, it was a 6% increase from July numbers.

The export value of beef exports for the month was $883.9 million, a decrease of 15% from 2022 but 9% above July. 

Through the first eight months of 2023, total beef exports decreased by 12% to 881,343 tonnes compared to last year’s record pace. Beef value stood at $6.69 billion, down 19%.

“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 US dollar,” Halstrom said. “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 US beef, and exports to other Western Hemisphere partners in Central and South America and the Dominican Republic also gained momentum in August.”

Beef exports to China/Hong Kong fell sharply from the record totals seen in August 2022. Shipments were down 38% in both volume (18,987 tonnes) and value ($168.2 million).