In 2018, U.S. beef exports achieved a new high for volume according to year-end 2018 statistics released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), a subcontractor to the Beef Checkoff. Fueled by tremendous demand in South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and the ASEAN region, U.S. beef exports reached 1.35 million metric tons, up 7 percent from 2017 exceeding the 2011 record by 5 percent.
Beef export value was also record-breaking on a per-head basis, averaging $323.14 per head of fed slaughter in 2018, a 13 percent increase over 2017. Beef exports accounted for 13.5 percent of total beef production in 2018 and 11.1 percent for muscle cuts, both up from the previous year.
Korea now accounts for half of the $1 billion surge in beef exports. According to USMEF president and CEO Dan Halstrom, there may be no greater agri-trade success story in 2018 than U.S. beef exports to Korea. Koreans now consume more U.S. beef per capita than any international designation. This is less than a decade following street protests opposing the reopening of this market.
This showcases the checkoff’s strong commitment to seeking market access and growing beef demand around the world. The checkoff works with subcontractors like USMEF to educate chefs and consumers on the superiority of U.S. beef products, creating opportunities to infiltrate the global marketplace.
Both the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service evaluate every program to ensure the funding is being invested correctly to yield results.