July exports of U.S. beef rebounded from recent lows, but remained below 2019 levels, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). U.S. pork exports, which are on a record pace in 2020, also were down from a year ago in July, but increased compared to June.
Beef exports for July totaled 107,298 metric tons (mt), up 36% from June, but still 9% below last year. Export value was $647.8 million, the highest since March, but down 10% from a year ago. July exports to China increased sharply year-over-year and shipments trended higher to Taiwan, Canada and Hong Kong. Exports were lower than a year ago to Japan and South Korea and declined significantly to Mexico.
July pork exports totaled 222,035 mt, down 5% from a year ago, while export value fell 12% to $548.3 million. Exports increased year-over-year to China/Hong Kong, Canada, the Philippines, Vietnam and the Caribbean. Exports to Mexico remained below last year, but were the largest since March. Shipments to Japan also were down from a year ago, but the largest since April.
“It is important to remember that the monthly export data is in the rearview mirror and that weekly export sales data, along with observations from our USMEF-China team, suggest that China’s demand for both U.S. pork and beef will be strong through the balance of the year, including purchases for Chinese New Year,” said USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “When combined with the rebound in other main markets, growth in emerging markets and the return of the U.S. supply advantage, USMEF remains optimistic about a strong finish for U.S. red meat exports in 2020, despite many challenges related to COVID-19.”