Japan accounted for 27 percent of the total value of U.S. beef exports in the first half of the year, and Mexico accounted for 23 percent of the total value of U.S. pork exports.
Capital Press File
June brought double-digit growth for shipments of U.S. beef to foreign markets, up 11 percent in volume and 10 percent in value year over year. Exports to Japan continued to lead the pack, with volume up 7 percent and value up 13 percent.
Pork exports in June weren’t quite as showy but still impressive, up 6 percent in volume and 4 percent in value. Mexico continues to be the star, with a 19 percent increase in both volume and value.
June exports also achieved higher values per head of U.S. slaughter and accounted for a steady-to-higher percentage of total U.S. production, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation in its latest report.
“In this time of large red meat production, the upward trend in per-head export value and in the percentage of production exported is especially critical to the industry,” said Phil Seng, USMEF president and CEO, in a press release accompanying the report.
That upward trend confirms “we’re not simply exporting more red meat because it’s available — those exports are also generating excellent returns,” he said.
Beef exports in June were the largest of the year at 109,554 metric tons, valued at $602.5 million. Those exports accounted for 13 percent of production, about even with a year earlier, but increased the export value per-head 6 percent to about $264.
Pork exports were the largest June volumes on record at 200,229 metric tons, valued at $527.1 million. They accounted for 27 percent of production and about $53 per head of U.S. slaughter, increasing both metrics about 1 percent from June 2016.
June exports capped a “very strong first half of the year,” USMEF said.
From January through June, beef exports were up 12 percent in volume to 606,876 metric tons and up 15 percent in value to $3.35 billion. They accounted for 13 percent of production, steady with the first half of 2016, but raised the value per-head of U.S. slaughter 8 percent to about $269.
Pork exports during the first half of the year were up 13 percent in volume to 1.25 million metric tons and up 16 percent in value to $3.21 billion. They accounted for 27.8 percent of production, up nearly 10 percent, and increased value per head 12 percent to about $54.
Japan led the way in beef exports, which were up 23 percent in volume to 150,812 metric tons — nearly 25 percent of total U.S. beef exports January through June. Those exports increased value 28 percent to $905,750.
Mexico’s imports of U.S. pork during the first half of the year were up 23 percent in volume to 398,565 metric tons and up 29 percent in value to $731,569.
U.S. lamb and mutton exports exceeded year-earlier levels for the second straight month in June, up 40 percent in volume to 642 metric tons and 58 percent in value to $1.75 million. Exports in the first half of the year were still down 13 percent in volume to 3,755 metric tons but up 10 percent in value to $9.6 million.
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