Pork exports largest in practically two years as beef reveals rebound

March exports of U.S. pork had been the biggest since Could 2021, in accordance with information launched by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Whereas beneath final yr’s excessive quantity, March beef exports had been the biggest since October.

March pork exports totaled 260,195 metric tons (mt), up 17% year-over-year and the ninth largest quantity on document. Export worth was additionally ninth largest at $724 million, up 18% from a yr in the past. These outcomes capped a powerful first quarter for U.S. pork as exports reached 716,691 mt, up 14% from a yr in the past, valued at $1.96 billion (up 15%).

For Mexico, March pork exports had been the second largest on document, whereas shipments to the Dominican Republic and Malaysia had been document massive. Exports additionally elevated to South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Australia and Taiwan. Exports to China/Hong Kong, particularly, proceed to development effectively above year-ago ranges, with first quarter shipments up 29% to 134,881. Export worth to the area elevated 26% to $352.2 million, primarily pushed by the sturdy development in selection meats, USMEF famous. 

“It’s nice to see U.S. pork exports proceed to broaden in lots of our Western Hemisphere markets, however there’s additionally notable momentum within the Asia Pacific,” mentioned USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “With client exercise within the area rebounding towards pre-COVID ranges and U.S. pork very competitively priced in comparison with European product, 2023 holds glorious potential for broad-based development.”

In the meantime, beef exports totaled 120,495 mt in March, down 5% from a yr in the past. Export worth fell 17% to $892.6 million, however each quantity and worth had been the best in 5 months. Via the primary quarter, beef exports had been down 8% year-over-year to 326,494 mt, valued at $2.35 billion (down 22%).

March beef exports to Mexico had been effectively above final yr, whereas export development to the Caribbean was highlighted by a document month for the Dominican Republic. Exports additionally elevated year-over-year to the Philippines, whereas beef selection meat demand strengthened in South Africa and Peru.

USMEF reported that demand for U.S. beef elevated dramatically in South Africa, the place first quarter exports practically tripled from a yr in the past to five,825 mt – up 184%. All however 33 mt had been beef selection meat as shipments of beef livers and kidneys have rebounded following challenges in 2022. Export worth to South Africa was up 206% to $6.3 million. With first quarter shipments of beef selection meats additionally growing to Cote D’Ivoire, whole beef exports to Africa had been up 84% from a yr in the past to six,816 mt, valued at $7.9 million (up 77%).

March exports to South Korea had been beneath final yr however had been the biggest in 10 months, whereas exports to China/Hong Kong had been the biggest since October at 21,211 mt.

“U.S. beef exports confronted appreciable headwinds late final yr and originally of 2023, however the March outcomes present some encouraging developments,” Halstrom mentioned. “Most Asian markets confirmed renewed momentum in March, whereas exports continued to development greater to Mexico, the Caribbean and South Africa.”