By: Ken Anderson
U.S. beef exports continued their upward trend in August, while pork exports were about even with the same month last year.
According the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), a strong performance by the top three international markets for beef—Japan, Mexico and Canada—was behind the surge in beef exports. Overall U.S. beef exports in August grew five percent in volume and 16 percent in value compared to year-ago levels. And for the first eight months of the year, beef exports are up one percent in volume and ten percent in value compared to 2012.
On the pork side, strong sales to China and several up-and-coming markets helped pork exports stay nearly even with last year’s record-setting pace in August. However, 2013 pork export totals are still down about five percent in both volume and value compared to last year.
USMEF officials say the continued absence of the Russian market – closed to U.S. beef and pork products since February – continues to hinder exports. Excluding Russia, U.S. pork exports to all other markets are only down one percent this year, while beef exports are up eight percent in volume and 16 percent in value.