According to USDA data compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), U.S. beef exports rose 5% in terms of volume in September from the previous month, while pork exports were down 9% due to a downturn in sales to Japan and continued restrictions in Russia.
Due to strengthening beef sales to Japan, Hong Kong and Mexico, U.S. beef exports in September were lifted 1% above the year-to-date pace compared to the same period last year. "On the beef side, the industry aggressively pursued the opportunities available for U.S. product when market access was expanded in Japan and Hong Kong, and we are seeing exciting growth in both those markets," said Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO. "On the pork side, we are continuing to face challenges from strong competition in Japan that is driving down our market share, and access issues with Russia continue to hamper our industry, both in pork and beef."
The USMEF points out the decline in pork exports to just Japan and Russia amount to nearly all of the drop-off in pork export volume this year and more than the total dip in export value. Year-to-date pork exports in terms of volume and value are down 5% from year-ago.
For September, beef exports totaled 94,698 MT, valued at $505.5 million, accounting for 13% of total beef production and 11% of muscle cuts. Pork exports in September of 166,650 MT valued at $478.7 million accounted for 25% of total U.S. pork production and 21% of muscle cuts.