U.S. beef exports to Mexico are off to a strong start in 2023, with shipments through February climbing 15% from a year ago in volume (just over 33,000 metric tons) and 13% higher in value ($186.3 million), the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) reports.
USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom says the increases have been partly driven by the post-COVID recovery in Mexico’s restaurant and hospitality sectors, which is much further advanced than it was a year ago. He added that in contrast to several other key trading partner currencies, the Mexican peso has strengthened in recent months verses the U.S. dollar, putting buyers from Mexico in a more favorable position to purchase U.S. beef cuts.
Gerardo Rodriguez, USMEF regional director for Mexico, Central America and the Dominican Republic, says there are great dynamics in the west coast of the country for the chucks, while the central part of Mexico uses the different rounds, especially the gooseneck and the bottom round.
“Every region in the country may be using different types of primals, but at the end of the day, that is what we're here for—to explore and develop new alternatives in order to give a better value for the cutout,” Rodriguez says.
He explains that his team is focused on showcasing alternative, affordable cuts from the chuck and round in ways that appeal to consumers in different regions of Mexico. “I know everybody likes the tomahawk and the ribeye and all those kinds of cuts, but how can we substitute a nice steak, a nice barbecue, using the chuck on a day-to-day basis? How can we give more value to the round?”