U.S. red meat export tonnage continued to post year-over-year increases in the latest data compiled by USDA, which is for the month of May. In their World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates, USDA is forecasting that both beef and pork exports (carcass weight) this calendar year will set new record highs.

Beef export tonnage during May was 3.2% above a year ago. For the first five months of 2017, U.S. beef export tonnage surged 19.5% year-over-year to nearly 1.1 billion pounds (carcass weight equivalent). That slightly eclipsed the prior high for January-May set in 2011.

Pork export tonnage in May was 12.3% above 2016’s and year-to-date increased 12.1%. At over 2.4 billion pounds (carcass weight), U.S. pork exports so far this year were the largest ever for the January-May timeframe (increased 3.0% from the prior high set in 2012).