POST Online Media Lite Edition


Global demand for U.S. beef continues to soar, pork exports below last year

Christian Fernsby |
U.S. beef exports posted another strong performance in February, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), led by excellent value growth in key Asian and Latin American markets.

Article continues below

Pork exports trended lower year-over-year, as larger shipments to Mexico and Japan did not offset the continued decline in demand from China/Hong Kong. Lamb exports continued to gain momentum, reaching the highest monthly value since 2014.

Beef exports totaled 108,501 metric tons (mt) in February, up 5% from a year ago, while value climbed 35% to $904.4 million. Through the first two months of the year, exports increased 9% to 227,567 mt, while value soared 46% to $1.93 billion.

Demand for U.S. pork did not fare as well in the first two months of 2022, as logistics challenges were compounded by lower-priced offerings from competitors. Like the U.S., these suppliers are shipping significantly lower volumes to China/Hong Kong, which has pushed more product into other markets at reduced prices.

February pork exports were 198,539 mt, down 17% from a year ago, while export value fell 14% to $541.3 million. Through February, exports were also down 17% in volume (407,347 mt) and 14% in value ($1.1 billion).

Beef export value approaches $2 billion after just two months

Following record-large January shipments, beef export volume to leading market South Korea slowed in February but value climbed significantly. February exports to Korea totaled 19,033 mt, down 19% from a year ago, but value still increased 17% to $197.8 million.

Through February, exports to Korea are off to a torrid start in 2022, climbing 8% in volume (48,611 mt) and already breaking the $500 million mark in value ($514.2 million, up 57%). Strong retail demand for U.S. beef continues and there is growing optimism for foodservice once Korea works through the current Omicron wave.

Although restaurant restrictions have been minimized, consumers still opted to dine at home as COVID cases surged in February and March.

February exports to Japan were down 5% to 23,553 mt, but value jumped 21% to just under $200 million. Through the first two months of the year, exports to Japan fell slightly (46,489 mt, down 1%) but value increased an impressive 26% to $381.6 million.

Strong growth in variety meat exports (tongues, skirts and hanging tenders) mostly offset the slowdown in muscle cut volume where exports continue to be impacted by Japan’s high duty rates.

Through the Japan-U.S. Trade Agreement, Japan’s duty on muscle cuts notched down to 24.1% on April 1 while tongues edged lower to 3.8% and skirts/hangers to 4.2%. Fortunately an agreement has been reached to modify Japan’s safeguard, pending parliamentary approval in Japan, which will minimize the future risk of U.S. beef being subjected to a higher snapback duty rate.

Beef exports to Taiwan got off to a slow start in 2021 before recovering to set a new annual value record. Demand has been far stronger in early 2022, with February exports up 39% to 5,307 mt, while value soared 85% to $64.3 million.

Through February, exports to Taiwan increased 60% from a year ago to 12,221 mt and more than doubled in value to $147.4 million (up 101%). It is also USMEF’s understanding that shipping delays in late 2021 partly contributed to the larger volumes materializing in the 2022 data.

Other January-February results for U.S. beef exports include:

• Since U.S. beef gained meaningful access to China in early 2020 through the Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement, beef exports to China/Hong Kong have continued to build momentum. Through February, exports to the region increased 56% from a year ago to 39,492 mt, with value up 87% to $374.8 million.

Exports in the first two months of the year averaged 19,746 mt, 11% below the monthly average volume in the second half of 2021. But exports are expected to increase seasonally and as China gets through its current COVID challenges.

• Coming off a record performance in 2021, beef exports to Central America continue to trend higher, led by outstanding growth in Guatemala, Panama and Honduras and continued strong exports to Costa Rica. Through February, exports to the region were up 23% to 3,831 mt, valued at $28.1 million (up 50%).

• Strong demand in Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas pushed beef exports to the Caribbean 32% higher than a year ago at 3,669 mt, while value nearly doubled to $32.8 million (up 98%). While still below pre-COVID levels, recent results reflect a rebound in tourism in the region.

• Led by strengthening variety meat shipments to Egypt and muscle cut growth in Qatar, beef exports to the Middle East increased 14% to 12,567 mt. Export value climbed 28% to $47.6 million.

• Beef exports to Colombia were up 50% in volume (1,952 mt) and 58% in value ($7.8 million), contributing to 12% value growth into South America (to $23 million).

• In addition to rebounding demand in Egypt, larger shipments to Japan, Korea, China/Hong Kong, Gabon, Chile and Vietnam fueled a 7% increase in beef variety meat exports (to 47,817 mt), with value climbing 39% to $195.6 million.

• February beef export value equated to $445.95 per head of fed slaughter, up 29% from a year ago. The January-February average was $474.87 per head, up 45%. Exports accounted for 14.1% of total February beef production and 11.6% for muscle cuts, down from the year-ago ratios of 14.4% and 12.3%, respectively.

Through February, exports accounted for 14.7% of total production and 12.5% for muscle cuts – each up about one percentage point from a year ago.

Despite strong month for Mexico and Japan, pork exports trend lower

U.S. pork exports to Mexico reached new heights in 2021 and this strong momentum continued through February. Exports totaled 73,939 mt, up 30% from a year ago, with value increasing 14% to $118.6 million. January-February exports to Mexico climbed 33% to 160,996 mt, with value up 19% to $255.1 million.

After a slow start in 2022, February pork exports to Japan rebounded to 32,712 mt, up 3% from a year ago, with value increasing 6% to $139.8 million. Through February, exports to Japan remained 8% below last year in volume (59,164 mt) and 3% lower in value ($258.5 million).

However, pork variety meat exports to Japan more than doubled in both volume (2,100 mt, up 123%) and value ($7 million, up 127%), and chilled pork exports were up 5% to 35,461 mt (valued at $173.5 million, up 4%). Some pork exports to Japan, such as frozen cuts and ground seasoned pork, have been negatively impacted by the logistical challenges and by heightened competition from the EU.

Pork exports to South Korea continue to post impressive value gains, even as volumes trend slightly lower than a year ago. February exports were 13,044 mt, down 4%, but value still increased 11% to $44.6 million.

Through February, exports to Korea were 3% below last year at 28,773 mt, but value climbed 21% to $103 million. Value growth is underpinned by continued increases in chilled pork volumes, up 42% to 1,820 mt, valued at $12 million (up 78%).

Other January-February results for U.S. pork exports include:

• Exports to China/Hong Kong dropped significantly from a year ago in both volume (68,420 mt, down 54%) and value ($185.5 million, down 44%). But this trend was consistent with late 2021 and in line with USMEF’s projections, given China’s low hog prices. China’s COVID restrictions on imported meat have also added further costs and limited new sales opportunities.

The region is still the dominant destination for U.S. pork variety meat. Through February, pork variety meat exports to China/Hong Kong were down 10% from a year ago to 40,752 mt, but export value still increased 9% to $117.6 million. On a global basis, pork variety meat exports increased 6% in value to $183.2 million despite a 9% decline in volume (69,309 mt).

• Fueled by strong consumer demand and the impact of African swine fever (ASF) on domestic pork production, exports to the Dominican Republic increased 7% to 11,588 mt while value jumped 11% to $27.7 million.

Shipments also increased to the Leeward-Windward Islands, Turks and Caicos, Haiti, Barbados and Bermuda, pushing exports to the Caribbean region 4% higher in volume (13,803 mt) and 11% higher in value ($35.5 million).

• While pork exports to Central America trended below last year’s record pace, shipments to El Salvador increased 3% to 2,229 mt and jumped 20% in value to $6.8 million. Exports to Belize increased 46% to 140 mt, while value more than doubled to $477,000 (up 101%).

• Exports were also lower for South America, Oceania and the ASEAN region, due partly to severe competition from the EU at dramatically lower prices. As noted, however, the competitive position of U.S. pork is expected to improve as European production trends lower.

• February pork export value equated to $54.44 per head slaughtered, down 10% from a year ago. The January-February average was $53.89 per head, down 3.5%. Exports accounted for 25.5% of total February pork production and 22.7% for muscle cuts, each down about four percentage points from a year ago.

The January-February ratios were also 25.5% and 22.7%, down from 26.8% and 24%, respectively, in 2021.

February lamb export value highest since 2014

February exports of U.S. lamb totaled 1,580 mt, up 37% from a year ago. Export value was $2.56 million, up 62% and the highest since July 2014. Leading market Mexico posted increases in both variety meats and muscle cuts, while muscle cut exports also increased to the Caribbean, Central America and the Philippines.

Through February, lamb exports increased 43% from a year ago to 3,113 mt, while value climbed 60% to $4.48 million.

What to read next

August exports strong for U.S. pork, for beef not so much
U.S. pork exports reach new heights
Slow red meat exports in May in U.S.

U.S.: Pacific storm over west

An omega pattern aloft will support impactful weather across the Central U.S. this weekend.


U.S. drillers cut oil and gas rigs to 620
4.8 magnitude earthquake rattles New Jersey and New York
Rare species of wild bees discovered in Berlin
UK: Leicester City Council confirms ransomware attack after confidential documents leaked


Finland extends border closure with Russia indefinitely

Russian nationals admit to illegally sending controlled aviation technology to Russia
Germany says Russia ‘very likely’ responsible for Baltic GPS disruptions
Singapore jails second defendant in laundering case
Taiwan earthquake deaths climb to 12
Czech police arrest 14 for drug smuggling


Australia: East coast gas surplus expected in Q3 2024

Kuwait-Saudi rail link to be ready by 2028, says report
Cambodia approves investment projects worth $2.2 in Q1
Venice to charge day trip tourists 5 euros
Commission opens two in-depth investigations in solar photovoltaic sector
UK airports granted extensions to install cutting-edge security technology

Trending Now

Slovenia's economy expected to grow 0.9 pct in Q1

UK scientists win funding for 'cancer detecting' Lollipops

UK's competition watchdog to examine EDF buying GE's nuclear turbine unit

Gilmour Space launches Bowen Spaceport


UK Exports Minister visits Latin America to boost trade and unlock billions worth of exports

Argentina, Brazil in talks to reverse Bolivian gas pipeline amid shortage
Trudeau offers $6 billion to provinces to build housing
€1 billion Greek State aid measures to support renewable energy generation and storage projects
North Carolina reaches electric vehicle registration goals two years early
Colorado Energy Office launches tax incentive for geothermal electricity development and production

Today We Recommend

Thieves steal up to $30 million in one of largest cash heists in L.A. history


99 Cents Only Stores to close all 371 stores

Alaska Airlines says Boeing paid $160 mln for 737 Max 9 grounding

Saint-Gobain to acquire Bailey for $650 million


99 Cents Only Stores to close all 371 stores

Alaska Airlines says Boeing paid $160 mln for 737 Max 9 grounding
Lindsay announces agreement to acquire minority interest in Pessl Instruments
Saint-Gobain to acquire Bailey for $650 million
Farmers Mutual Hail to acquire Global Ag from AXA XL
Oar Resources signs deal to acquire Namibian prospecting licences


TerraPay names Marco Boldini as EVP and global head of governmental affairs

Farmers Insurance appoints John Griek as CFO
PA Media Group appoints Emily Shelley as new CEO
BioNTech appoints Annemarie Hanekamp as chief commercial officer
Ecobank Group strengthens leadership team
Veramed appoints Karen Curran as chief strategy officer


Slovenia's economy expected to grow 0.9 pct in Q1

Italy faces deficit infringement procedure
Real GDP increased in all 50 U.S. states
Inflation continues to decline in Germany
UK house prices log unexpected fall
South Korea's FDI logs double digit growth in Q1


Dollarama Q4 sales increased 11.3%

Conagra Brands Q3 sales decreased 1.7%
Liebherr finished 2023 business year with record revenue of €14,042 million
BlackBerry Q4 revenue $173 million
Levi Strauss Q1 revenues 8% lower
PVH Q4 revenue of $2.490 billion flat


Micromanaging is the worst enemy of efficiency and teamwork

Niger set to monetize massive gas reserves through Saharan natural gas pipeline
Putting the brakes on EV folly that choked the market
Oil discovery in Kavango Basin may mean huge benefits for Namibians
Cape Town and Dubai battle over Africa's energy future
Is America going to lose its superpower status?


FAO Food Price Index rises in March

Australia grants license for GM bananas amid Fusarium Wilt TR4 concerns
Indian government allows exports of 10,000 tons of onions to UAE
Analytical survey: Sales of agricultural lands in Ukraine up 50% in February
Decline in Norwegian seafood exports in Q1
Tanzania's first fishing harbor to be completed in 2025


Study finds workers misjudge wage markets

Some organizations may need to expand their hierarchical structures earlier than others
Study finds there's right way and wrong way to deliver negative feedback in workplace
Allyship is critical and its needs appreciation
Generating 'buzz' about new products can influence their success
Hiring 'problem directors' can knock up to 64% off firm's value


HSBC pays penalties for alleged breaches of Consumer Data Right rules

Sanofi to settle thousands of Zantac cancer lawsuits
Former asset manager and board member of Geneva private bank referred to Swiss Federal Criminal Court
South Africa: SAP ordered to pay SIU $26m over 'invalid' Eskom contracts
Former Steinhoff director appears in court for $1.1b fraud, racketeering
Genesis agrees to pay $21 million penalty to settle SEC charges



Buna channels, an unreal and beautiful part of Bosnia and Herzegovina

JW Marriott unveils Mindful Haven with opening of JW Marriott Hotel Nairobi
Sotheby's Sports Week returns with fantastic artifacts
Red Roof properties open in Michigan
Treyam, your premier lagoon destination in Saudi Arabia
San Francisco: SkyStar wheel on Fisherman’s Wharf to stay for another 18 months


2025 Chevrolet Equinox stands apart with fresh looks and capability

Hill Helicopters HX50, luxury in the sky
Opel Movano becomes fully equipped camper van
Porsche Panamera, new hybrid variants
Dodge Charger, 670 horsepower of electric
Pagani Huayra R Evo, 900 hp from 770 Nm


Cold night, hot fire pit, cool entertainment

Embellish your home with PVC panels
You'll have to hurry if you want one of 20 new Louis Vuitton watches
Luxury duvet looks good, fells good and keeps you healthy
Vacheron Constantin, watches for life and more
Schüller kitchens, where functionality marries design


reMarkable 2, monochrome tablet for your thoughts and your eyes

OnePlus Ace 3V, first with Snapdragon 7 Plus Gen 3
ASUS Zenfone 11 Ultra, flagship with a reason
Samsung Galaxy S24 is photography powerhouse
Casette tapes are making a big comeback, and so are portable players
Neumann TLM 103, standard microphone for both voice and music


India launches first home-grown gene therapy for cancer

UK scientists win funding for 'cancer detecting' Lollipops
State to cover rare disease treatment costs in Bulgaria
Type 1 diabetes patients in England to receive 'artificial pancreas' as medication
Pilot study shows ketogenic diet improves severe mental illness
Texas reports possibly U.S. first human case of bird flu linked to cattle


SLAC completes construction of largest digital camera ever built for astronomy

Solar eclipse next week in U.S., Mexico and Canada
Gravitational waves may have made human life possible
Astronomers unveil strong magnetic fields spiraling at the edge of Milky Way's central black hole
Scientists on hunt for evidence of quantum gravity's existence at South Pole
Hydrogen train from Switzerland sets world record