According to USDA data compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), beef exports in November set a new record in terms of value and pork exports in terms of volume were the strongest of 2013. Beef exports for the month reached 101,341 MT, valued at $524.5 million and pork exports totaled 192,657 MT, valued at $550.7 million.
Beef exports posted an 11% increase in volume and a 16% increase in value compared to year-ago, putting year-to-date totals at nearly 1.1 MMT, a 3% increase from year-ago. Export value for the calendar year reached $5.61 billion, an 11% increase from last year's pace and already ahead of the 2012 year-end total of $5.51 billion. Year-to-date pork exports continue to trail last year's records by 6% in terms of volume at 1.95 MMT and 5% in value at $5.5 billion.
"Market access, product availability… relationships. There are many factors that play a role in the export marketplace," said USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng. "We continue to see benefits from expanded market access for beef in Japan and Hong Kong. At the same time, the lack of access for U.S. beef to Mainland China and the closure of the Russian market for both pork and beef – which is approaching a year in duration – are significant barriers."
Seng noted that other impediments for U.S. pork exports to both China and Japan have had an impact. Drought has had widespread ramifications, leading to smaller cattle numbers in the U.S. and a contrasting surge in Australia’s 2013 production, also leading to record exports of Australian beef.