Exports in July continued to buoy domestic beef prices, according to USDA statistics compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) and released this week.
Export value per head of fed slaughter averaged $299.21 in July, up more than $35 (13%) from a year earlier. Through July, per-head export value this year was up 9% to $273.52.
Increased value per head stems from significant year-to-year gains in both export volume and value. In fact, the value of U.S. beef exports in July was among the highest monthly totals on record at $623.7 million. That was 18% more than a year ago with volume 5% more at 104,488 metric tons.
So far this year, the value of U.S. exports is $3.97 billion, which is 15% more than the first seven months of last year. That’s with 11% more volume (711,364 metric tons).
“July was certainly a solid month, especially for beef exports, but these results remind us that the U.S. red meat industry operates in an intensely competitive global environment,” says USMEF CEO Philip Seng. “At a time when some of our most essential trade agreements are under review, we must be mindful of how these agreements have helped make U.S. beef, pork and lamb more readily available and more affordable for millions of global customers, to the benefit of U.S. producers and everyone in the U.S. supply chain.”
Among the highlights of July beef exports:
- Beef export volume to Japan was the most in four years and value was the highest of post-BSE era. Although the impact won’t likely show up until September data, USMEF reminds that Japan’s frozen beef safeguard was triggered in late July. It significantly increases the duty on frozen beef imports to 50% from suppliers without a trade agreement with Japan—that includes the U.S.
- July was the first full month for beef exports to China, with exports of 137 metric tons valued at $1.3 million.