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U.S. beef exports approach $7 billion

Staff Writer |
Statistics released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and compiled by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) show U.S. beef exports stayed above last year’s pace in October and has a chance to break the $7 billiion mark in 2017.

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Also, pork exports remained ahead of the 2016 pace. Beef exports totaled 111,287 metric tons (mt) in October, up 5 percent over last year.

This was the second strongest month of the year. Export value was the second highest on record at $662 million– up 18 percent from a year ago. Through October, beef exports jumped 9 percent in volume at more than 1.038 mt while values topped $5.93 billion year to date.

Exports accounted for 13 percent of total US beef production during the month of October 2017, the highest point since July, but down from 13.9 percent last year. Muscle cuts stayed steady form the 2016 mark at 10.7 percent of beef production.

From January to October beef exports accounted for 12.8 percent of total production which is down from 13.3 percent in 2016. Fed slaughter averages per head on exports were valued at $301.88 in October, up 12 percent from a year ago and the highest since December 2016. Through October, per-head export value was $279.85 up 10 percent.

Pork exports increased 5 percent year-over-year in October to 221,592 mt, up 8 percent over last year at a value of $565.4 million. For January through October, volume remained 8 percent above last year’s record pace at 2.005 million metric tons while export value increased 10 percent to $5.28 billion.

Exports accounted for 25.4 percent of total pork production in October which is steady with the 2016 numbers and 21.6 percent for muscle cuts only. Export value per head slaughtered trended lower in October at $51.41, up 9 percent from a year ago, but the January through October average was still up 7 percent to $52.64.

Beef exports to Japan totaled 23,981 metric tons in August, up 19 percent from a year ago. For January through October, exports to Japan were up 29 percent in volume (260,517 tons) and 22 percent in value ($1.59 billion), already setting a new single-year record.

Chilled beef continues to drive export growth to Japan, with chilled exports up 40 percent in volume with 124,699 metric tons and 43 percent in value to $918.8 million.

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