November 8, 2023
September exports of U.S. pork were down slightly from a year ago but maintained a robust pace, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Beef exports continued to struggle compared to last year’s record totals but showed increasing strength in Western Hemisphere markets.
USMEF said the data showed another outstanding performance of exports to Mexico, which boosted exports overall. Pork exports totaled 221,140 metric tons (mt) in September, down less than 1% from a year ago, while export value fell 4% to $643.7 million. September export value to Mexico increased 18% year-over-year to $207.6 million, the third highest month on record. Exports also increased strongly to Central America and Australia and trended higher to the Caribbean, Taiwan, New Zealand, Vietnam and Malaysia.
For the first three quarters of 2023, pork exports increased 9% year over year to 2.13 million mt and climbed 7% in value to just under $6 billion, led by record-large shipments to leading market Mexico.
“Pork exports achieving another $200 million month in Mexico is fantastic,” said USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom, “But the good news doesn’t end there, as growth in regions such as Central America, the Caribbean and Oceania helped offset lower shipments to China and Japan.”
Meanwhile, beef exports continued to struggle in Asia but had slight gains in the Western Hemisphere, USMEF noted.
September beef exports totaled 98,757 mt, down 15% from a year ago and the lowest of 2023, while value fell 12% to $795.5 million. Exports were lower across the board to major Asian destinations but gained momentum in Mexico, Canada, Central America, Colombia and Africa.
For January through September, beef exports were 13% below last year’s record pace in volume (980,100 mt) and down 18% in value ($7.49 billion).
“U.S. beef continues to face tough sledding in our Asian markets, where weakness in major currencies persist and consumer confidence remains guarded,” Halstrom said. “In the past few weeks, we have seen several Asian trading partners step up efforts to stimulate their economies and ease pressure on consumers. In the meantime, bright spots for U.S. beef continue to emerge in the Western Hemisphere, led by strong demand in Mexico.”
A detailed summary of the January-September export results for U.S. beef, pork and lamb, including market-specific highlights, is available from the USMEF website.
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