Lindsay Mitchell

Dec 21, 2016  |  Today's News

U.S. pork and beef exports continued to build momentum in October, with both achieving double-digit increases from a year ago, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

October pork exports totaled 201,936 metric tons (mt), up 14 percent year-over-year and the largest monthly volume since March 2014. Export value was $521.1 million, up 16 percent. For January through October, export volume was 6 percent above last year’s pace at 1.86 million mt, while export value was up 3 percent to $4.79 billion.

Exports accounted for 25.5 percent of total pork production in October and 21 percent for muscle cuts only. For January-October, exports accounted for 25 percent of total production – up a full percentage point from a year ago – and 21 percent for muscle cuts, up slightly. Export value per head slaughtered averaged $47 in October, up 8 percent year-over-year, while January-October export value averaged $49, steady with the same period last year.

October beef export volume was 105,938 mt, up 12 percent from a year ago, while export value climbed 10 percent to $559.5 million. For January through October, export volume was up 9 percent from a year ago at 954,868 mt, while value was down 3 percent to $5.1 billion. Beef muscle cut exports were especially strong in October at 75,903 mt – the largest volume in two years.

Beef exports accounted for 14 percent of total production in October and 11 percent for muscle cuts only. January-October ratios were just over 13 percent and 10 percent, respectively – up slightly from the same period last year. Export value per head of fed slaughter averaged $269.35 in October, up 5 percent year-over-year. Through the first 10 months of 2016, exports had an value averaged at $254.71 per head, down 8 percent.

“With pork production at a record level and beef production also on the rise, it is imperative that we work to expand global demand and accelerate the volume of product entering the international markets,” said Philip Seng, USMEF President and CEO.

“With strong support from USDA, our U.S. industry partners, and our international contacts, USMEF has intensified its marketing efforts in key destinations and capitalized on opportunities to regain market share – not only in mainstay markets such as Japan, Mexico, and South Korea, but in a wide range of countries. This has laid the groundwork for a strong finish to this year and further growth in 2017.”

IL Corn is a strong supporter of USMEF and of the need to increase U.S. red meat exports.  The domestic opportunity to raise livestock here in the states to consume our corn is incredible, but the opportunity only exists with strong livestock export markets, as meat consumption in the U.S. is not projected to increase much, if at all.