U.S. meat exports heat up in 2017

Date: Monday, February 12, 2018
Source: American Shipper

The United States exported $7.27 billion worth of beef and $6.49 billion worth of pork in 2017, up 15 percent and 9 percent year-over-year, respectively.

 U.S. beef, pork and lamb exports all increased in value in 2017 from a year prior, according to data provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which was compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

   In terms of volumes, beef and pork exports also increased from 2016 levels, while lamb export volumes had sharply declined.
   Beef exports refer to beef and beef variety meat; pork exports refer to pork and pork variety meat; and lamb exports refer to lamb, mutton and lamb variety meat.
   U.S. beef exports in 2017 were valued at $7.27 billion, with volumes standing at 1.26 million metric tons, up 15 percent and 6 percent year-over-year, respectively.
   USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom said 2017 “was a remarkable year for beef exports in our mainstay markets in northern Asia, as well as emerging destinations in South America, Southeast Asia and Africa. The U.S. beef industry gained significant market share in Japan, despite considerable obstacles, and posted a record-breaking performance in South Korea and Taiwan."
   During the year, Japan was the leading market for U.S. beef exports in terms of value and volumes, with the U.S. exporting $1.89 billion worth of beef to Japan totaling 307,559 metric tons.
   Meanwhile, U.S. pork exports during the year reached $6.49 billion, up 9 percent from 2016 levels, while pork export volumes ticked up 6 percent to 2.45 million metric tons.
   Japan was the leading value market for U.S. pork exports at $1.63 billion, while Mexico was the leading volumes market at 801,887 metric tons.
   U.S. lamb exports in 2017 were valued at $19.55 million, a 7 percent increase from 2016, but lamb export volumes tumbled 14 percent to 7,261 metric tons, due to slow demand for variety meat.
   Mexico was the leading market for U.S. lamb exports in terms of value and volumes in 2017, with the U.S. exporting $7.56 million worth of lamb to Mexico totaling 5,414 metric tons.
   U.S. lamb gained access to Taiwan in 2016, and recently became eligible for Guatemala and El Salvador, but is still ineligible in many key markets, including Japan, Korea, China and South America, according to the USMEF.

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