Strong finish to first half for U.S. pork, beef exportsChristian Fernsby ▼ | August 9, 2019
U.S. pork and beef exports were above year-ago levels in both volume and value in June, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
June pork exports posted double-digit gains in both volume and value, reaching 212,887 metric tons (mt), up 11% year-over-year, valued at $569.2 million (up 12%).
For the first half of 2019, pork exports remained 2% below last year in volume (1.25 million mt) and were down 6% in value to $3.14 billion.
Pork export value averaged $56.99 per head slaughtered in June, up 7% from a year ago and the highest monthly average since April 2018.
First-half export value averaged $50.05 per head, down 9% from the same period last year.
June exports accounted for 27.8% of total U.S.
pork production and 24% for muscle cuts only, up from 25.8% and 22.4%, respectively, a year ago.
For January through June, exports accounted for 25.8% of total pork production (down from 27.3%) and 22.4% for muscle cuts (down from 23.6%).
Beef exports were up 3% year-over-year in June to 118,677 mt.
Export value ($724.8 million) increased just 1% from a year ago but trailed only August 2018, May 2019, and October 2018 for the highest monthly value total on record.
First-half beef exports were down 2% from a year ago in volume (648,765 mt) but held steady with last year’s record value pace at $4.03 billion.
Beef export value per head of fed slaughter averaged $325.10 in June, up 4% from a year ago, while first-half export value averaged $312.06 per head, down 2%.
June exports accounted for 15.4% of total U.S. beef production, up nearly a full percentage point from last year.
For muscle cuts only, exports accounted for 12.7% of production – up from 12.3% last year and the highest ratio since July 2018.
For the first half of the year, exports accounted for 14.2% of total production and 11.6% for muscle cuts – down from 14.6% and 11.9%, respectively, a year ago.
On May 20, the 20% retaliatory duty on most U.S. pork exports to Mexico was removed as the U.S., Mexico and Canada reached an agreement on steel and aluminum tariffs.
Entering Mexico duty-free for the first time in nearly a year, June exports to Mexico were the largest since January at 59,837 mt (steady year-over-year), while value climbed 13% to $119 million – the highest since April 2018. ■