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American Beef Exports Have Strong Start in 2018

Brian German Dairy & Livestock, Industry

American beef exports in January illustrated a significant increase compared to the sizable totals from the previous year.  According to information that was collected by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and compiled by the United States Meat Export Federation (USMEF), exports of beef were up nine percent versus the same time last year.

American Beef ExportsThere were 105,486 metric tons (mt) of beef exported in January valued at $624.4 million, showing growth of 21 percent from 2017.  Out of all the beef produced in the U.S., over 12 percent was exported, indicating another increase from last year.

Muscle cuts of beef experienced export growth in both amount and value.  Exports of muscle cuts reached 80,495 mt, up 15 percent from the year prior.  Muscle cut exports increased 23 percent in value year-over-year, at $555.7 million.  The value of beef variety meat also grew by seven percent to $68.8 million, but volume declined by five percent to just under 25,000 mt.

“January export results were solid overall and were especially strong for muscle cuts,” USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom said in a press release. “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 U.S. supply chain.”

Asian Markets were a significant driver in the success of American beef exports in January.  Exports to Japan grew by seven percent in volume, at nearly 24,000 mt and 19 percent in value, to $148.6 million.  In South Korea, exports were valued at $122.3 million after a 34 percent gain over January 2017.  The exports that went to China reached a monthly high after the market reopened in June 2017, totaling 819 mt.  There was also a 41 percent increase in volume and 53 percent increase in value for beef exports going to Hong Kong.