U.S. Beef Exports Maintain Strong Pace in January

January 2017 beef exportsJanuary exports of U.S. beef were up significantly year-over-year, maintaining the solid momentum established in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), a contractor to the beef checkoff.

Beef exports totaled 212.7 million pounds, up 17 percent from a year ago, valued at $515.5 million – up 18 percent and the highest ever for the month of January. Exports accounted for 12.2 percent of total beef production and 9.5 percent of muscle cuts – with both ratios being fairly steady with January 2016. Export value per head of fed slaughter was $256.62, up 7 percent from a year ago.

 “The red meat industry entered 2017 with an optimistic outlook, confident that we can continue our recent strong momentum in the international markets,” said Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO. “The January results certainly validate that feeling, but we understand that significant challenges still lie ahead. With record beef production also trending higher it’s more important than ever that we capitalize on our abundance of protein, and move more product out of the country by growing U.S. market share in established markets and breaking new ground in emerging destinations.”

Beef exports still red-hot in key Asian markets

Beef exports to most major destinations were higher year-over-year, and Japan and South Korea continued to be the pacesetters for the start of 2017. Exports to Japan were up 34 percent in both volume (49.6 million pounds) and value ($125.2 million), with muscle cut exports climbing 41 percent. Exports to Korea achieved similar growth, with volume up 35 percent to 33.5 million pounds and value increasing 36 percent to $91.6 million – maintaining the pace that carried exports to Korea over the $1 billion mark for the first time last year.

Other January highlights for U.S. beef include:

  • Exports to Mexico were 26 percent above last year’s pace in volume (42.2 million pounds) and up 11 percent in value ($76.2 million). Exports to Canada also rebounded, up 8 percent in volume and 11 percent in value (21.8 million pounds; $60.8 million)
  • Following a record year for export value, exports to Taiwan climbed 24 percent in both volume (7.9 million pounds) and value ($29.9 million).
  • Led by growth in the Philippines and renewed momentum for U.S. beef in Indonesia, exports to the ASEAN region were up 56 percent in volume to 5.6 million pounds and 45 percent in value to $14.1 million.

Complete January export results for U.S. beef are available from USMEF’s statistics web page. Monthly charts for U.S. beef exports are also available online. If you have questions, please contact Joe Schuele at jschuele@usmef.org or call 303-226-7309.

For more information about your beef checkoff investment, visit MyBeefCheckoff.com. 

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