Beef export value topped US$600 million for the fourth consecutive month at US$616.9 million, up 16% year on year (YOY), the data showed.
Beef volume between January and September stood at 926,985 metric tons – a rise of 9% from the first three quarters of 2016 – while export value was $5.27 billion, up 16% YOY and 2% above the record pace established in 2014, the report stated.
Strong demand for US beef continued in most Asian and Western hemisphere markets in September, with exports to Japan, its leading market, “holding up well” despite the country’s recent duty rate increase from 38.5% to 50%.
Hurricanes hamper Caribbean sales
September exports of frozen beef to Japan rose by 44% YOY to 10,512 metric tons, chilled exports jumped 38% to 12,663 metric tonnes and, between January and September, exports to the country increased 22% in volume – 236,536 metric tons – and 30% in value to US$1.45bn.
However, with hurricanes inflicting severe damage on several Caribbean islands, September beef exports to the region slipped dramatically from a year ago in both volume and value: 1,653 metric tons (-22%) and US$9.9m (-48%) respectively.
“USMEF is pleased to see solid demand continuing for US beef in Japan, and this is testament to the strong, well-established relationships with our loyal customers and the success of US beef promotional campaigns in Japan,” said USMEF president and CEO Philip Seng. “But the 11.5% duty rate increase needs to be closely monitored to ascertain where market dislocation will occur. We are watching this situation carefully and remain very concerned about the widening gap in duty rates between US beef and Australian beef.”
Elsewhere, overall pork exports remained steady, accounting for 183,481 metric tons in September, almost identical to September 2016 and August 2017 volumes, while export value for the month was up 3% YOY to US$503.8m