Foreign demand of U.S. red meat continues to increase according to the latest statistics compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation. Through August, pork exports were up 6 percent to $1.96 billion and beef exports saw a 28 percent increase to $1.67 billion compared to the same period last year.
U.S. beef and beef variety meat exports worldwide were up 16 percent in volume to 495,829 metric tons with notable gains in Central and South America. Larger markets such as Canada also showed gains with a 31 percent increase in volume. Meanwhile, Mexico remained the No. 1 market for U.S. beef and beef variety meat exports with a volume of 235,471 metric tons. U.S. beef products should remain a good value internationally due to the weakness of the U.S. dollar.
U.S. pork and pork variety meat exports worldwide were down 3 percent in volume to 804,261 metric tons. Japan continued as the No. 1 foreign pork market with volume increasing 8 percent to 238,803 metric tons, more than double that of the No. 2 foreign pork market, Mexico.
U.S. pork and pork variety meat exports increased to Guatemala where USMEF recently conducted a long-range campaign to reverse consumer perceptions that pork was unsafe to eat. Export volume there increased 29 percent to 3,935 metric tons. Pork and pork variety meat exports to the Central and South America region also saw an increase of 22 percent to 20,865 metric tons.
USMEF expects pork exports to increase in the fourth quarter as lower pork prices and the weak U.S. dollar make U.S. pork competitive in international markets.
For a complete breakdown of export statistics, visit the USMEF Statistics page.