Beef Exports Show Continued Strength, While Pork Sales Tempered By Tariffs

September 13, 2018

Export volumes of U.S. beef and pork were higher in July than a year ago, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). The value of exports was mixed, with beef posting another near-record month, while pork reflected the negative impact of retaliatory duties imposed by Mexico and China.

Led by another spectacular performance from South Korea and strong growth in Japan, Taiwan and Latin America, July beef exports increased 12% by volume and 16% by value from a year earlier. The monthly value of $722 million was slightly less than the May 2018 all-time record. For January through July, beef exports were on a record pace in both volume, up 10% year-over-year, and value, up 20%.

“The worldwide momentum for U.S. beef has rarely been as strong as it is today,” said USMEF President and Chief Executive Officer Dan Halstrom.  

For the first seven months of this year, exports accounted for 13.5% of total beef production and averaged $318.31 per head, up 16% over the same period a year earlier.

Pork exports in July were up 1.5% by volume and down 5% by value, marking the lowest monthly value since February 2016. January through July pork exports remained 2% ahead of last year’s record volume pace, while value was still up 3%. For the same period, total pork production exported was down slightly to 27%, with per head export values for the seven months up slightly to $54.27.

Halstrom said, as anticipated, the 20% duty in Mexico and 62% tariff in China are weighing heavily on the value of U.S. pork exports.