Beef exports from the US totalled 105,486 metric tons (mt) in January, up 9% year-over-year, while export value surged 21% to $624.4 million (m). Exports accounted for 12.4% of total beef production in January, up slightly from a year ago. Beef export value averaged $293.06 per head of fed slaughter, up 14% year-over-year.
Meanwhile pork exports for January totalled 203,488 mt, steady with last year’s strong volume, while export value increased 7% to $545.6m. Pork exports accounted for 24.7% of total pork production, down from 26.2% a year ago. Pork export value averaged $50.93 per head slaughtered, up 1% year-over-year.
“January export results were solid overall and were especially strong for muscle cuts,” said USMEF president and CEO Dan Halstrom. “Despite the decline in variety meat volume, export value continued to increase. This underscores the important contribution variety meats deliver for producers and for everyone in the US supply chain.”
US beef continued to gain momentum in the Japanese market, with January exports increasing 7% from a year ago in volume (23,968 mt) and 19% in value ($148.6m). This included a 30% increase in chilled beef exports to 12,411 mt, valued at $92.4m (up 38%). Frozen exports declined 13% in volume (8,141 mt) but increased slightly in value ($33.1m).
Pork exports to leading value market Japan totalled 35,048 mt (up 11%) valued at $146.4m (up 17%). Chilled exports were up 15% in volume (20,212 mt) and 21% in value ($96.8m).
Beef exports to South Korea, which reached a record $1.2 billion in 2017, increased 13% from a year ago to 17,133 mt, while export value soared 34% to $122.3m. This included a 54% increase in chilled beef exports to 3,954 mt, valued at $36.9m, up 63%.
Pork exports to Korea posted impressive gains in 2017 and continued to gain momentum in January as volume increased 17% to 18,879 mt and value climbed 20% to $54.2m.