June was the best month of the year so far for U.S. beef and pork exports, according to statistics released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation.
The volume of U.S. beef exports in June was 101,720 metric tons, rising 8 percent year-over-year, and export value was $562.3 million, jumping 21 percent. However, from January to June, beef exports dropped 1 percent in volume compared with the same period last year, reaching 542,560 metric tons, although export value was $2.83 billion, rising 6 percent.
Pork exports in June increased 2.4 percent in volume to 169,098 metric tons, versus June 2012, and inched up in value to $469.7 million. In the first six months of 2013, pork exports dipped 7 percent year-over-year in volume and value to 1.05 million metric tons valued at $2.94 billion.
“There is no question that challenges persist, such as the continued closure of the Russian market, but we are seeing positive signs from key markets, including Japan and Mexico, that are vital trading partners for our industry,” said Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO, in a written statement.
The inability of the U.S. to ship beef and pork to Russia — which closed its market on Feb. 11 — results from Russia’s policy against beta agonist use.
Top performing beef export markets in June, by volume, were Japan, Hong Kong, Mexico, Taiwan and Central and South America.
“We are focused on the markets where we can take advantage of opportunities, such as expanded access for U.S. beef in Japan, the rebound in Taiwan and continued growth of the Hong Kong and Central/South America markets,” Seng said. “At the same time, we continue relationship-building in Russia for when that market reopens, and stand ready to capitalize on the growing demand for high-quality beef in China when access can be restored for the first time since 2003.”