U.S. pork exports recorded the highest-ever monthly value in November while U.S. beef export value took another step toward a likely full-year value record, according to export results released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
November pork exports totaled 223,962 metric tons (mt), down slightly from a year ago. But through the first 11 months of 2017, export volume remained on pace for a new record at 2.23 million mt – up 7 percent year-over-year. November export value was a record-high $615.8 million, up 5 percent year-over-year and just the fourth time monthly export value has topped $600 million. Through November, pork export value increased 10 percent to $5.9 billion.
Exports accounted for 27.7 percent of total pork production in November, down slightly from November 2016. Through the first 11 months of the year, the per-head export value averaged $53.18, up 7 percent.
Beef exports reached 111,915 mt in November, down 3 percent from the large volume of November 2016 but still the second-highest monthly total of the year. Export value was also the second-largest of 2017 at $666.4 million, up 8 percent year-over-year. January-November export volume totaled 1.15 million mt, up 7 percent, while export value climbed to $6.6 billion – up 15 percent from a year ago and slightly above the record pace established in 2014.
Beef exports accounted for 13.1 percent of total production in November, the highest since July but down from 14.9 percent in November 2016.
Free Trade Agreements fueled much of this record-setting pace. In South Korea, where most U.S. pork now enters the market duty-free under the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, strong November growth pushed January-November volume up 28 percent year-over-year to 153,569 mt, valued at $420 million – up 30 percent.
Pork exports to Mexico remain significantly important, especially with the current high level of U.S. hog production. November pork exports to Mexico are setting up for the sixth consecutive volume record in 2017. Volume was up 12 percent fro a year ago while export value increased 15 percent to $1.37 billion.