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February exports below year-ago levels for U.S. pork and beef

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Christian Fernsby |
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America   Pork export volume was down 9% from a year ago in February

February exports of U.S. pork and beef fell below last year’s levels while lamb exports trended higher, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).


Pork export volume was down 9% from a year ago in February to 186,745 metric tons (mt), while export value dropped 17% to $455.9 million — the lowest monthly value total since February 2016.

For January through February, pork exports were 5% below last year’s pace in volume (388,580 mt) and 13% lower in value ($950 million).

Pork export value averaged $45.12 per head slaughtered in February, up slightly from January but 21% lower year-over-year.

The January-February average was $44.93, down 16%.

Exports accounted for 24% of total February pork production and 21% for muscle cuts only, down from 27.8% and 24%, respectively, a year ago.

For January-February, the ratio of total production exported was 23.8% (down from 26.1% a year ago) and 20.6% for muscle cuts only (down from 22.7%).

February beef exports declined 6% year-over-year to 94,885 mt while value was down 3% to $581.6 million.

January-February, exports were 3% below last year’s record pace in volume (199,651 mt) but steady in value at $1.22 billion.

The volume decline is mainly due to lower exports to Hong Kong and Canada, as shipments to most other major beef markets have trended higher in 2019.

Beef export value per head of fed slaughter averaged $309.39 in February, down 4% from a year ago, while the January-February average was down 3% to $296.19.

February exports accounted for 12.8% of total beef production and 10.1% for muscle cuts only, down from 13.6% and 10.8%, respectively, in February 2018.

For January-February these ratios were 12.5% and 9.9%, each down one-half percentage point from the first two months of 2018.


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