US beef exports trending lower

13 June 2023

April beef exports were lower than the very big totals posted a year ago, but US pork exports saw increases in a variety of markets, according to data supplied by the USDA and collated by USMEF.

The value of April's beef exports, which totaled 111,416 mt, was 18% lower than it was in the same month last year. In comparison to last year's record pace, beef exports were down 21% in value ($3.21 billion) and down 8% in volume (437,910 mt) through the first four months of 2023.

“With U.S. beef supplies tightening, it’s difficult to keep pace with the remarkable export totals posted in the first half of 2022, but exports continue to account for a similar share of production as last year’s record,” said USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “The rebound in travel and tourism – which is now gaining momentum in Asia – and related foodservice opportunities continue to support beef demand. In some countries, we have also seen a recent easing of the inflationary pressure on consumers’ discretionary income.”

Halstrom stated that it is essential for West Coast port terminal owners to strike a contract deal with longshoremen for both beef and pork exports.

The occasional work stoppages on the West Coast are a huge issue for exporters and their overseas clients, Halstrom said, even though there hasn't been a formal strike or lockout. This is particularly valid for businesses that send cold beef or pork to Asia. Reliability and timeliness are crucial for that firm. Increased beef shipments to Mexico, Korea, Europe, and Africa in April.

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