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US Meat Exports Break Another Record on Value

12 January 2015

US - Meat export volumes were lower in November, with lamb losing momentum.

US lamb exports were lower in November, breaking a four-month run of year-over-year increases. January-November exports were down 15 per cent in volume (9,673mt) and one per cent in value ($25.6 million).

Exports increased to Mexico, the Caribbean, the United Arab Emirates, Panama and the Philippines, but these results did not fully offset a sharp decline in exports to Canada.

Lamb muscle cut exports fared better, achieving a six per cent increase in value ($15.7 million) despite a six per cent decline in volume (2,621mt).

US beef and pork export volumes trended lower in November, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF). However, the cumulative 2014 volume totals were still higher year-over-year, with January-November beef exports up two per cent to 1.1 million metric tons (mt). Pork exports were also two per cent higher at just under two million metric tons.

With December totals still to be recorded, beef exports already set a new full-year value record of $6.49 billion (up 16 per cent year-over-year). Pork export value through November ($6.13 billion, up 11 per cent) is on pace to break the 2012 record and already exceeds the 2013 year-end total.

November results were mixed for beef exports, with volume down five per cent from a year ago to 96,348mt, while value was 19 per cent higher at $626.7 million. November pork exports were down 13 per cent in volume (168,062mt) and six per cent in value ($519.9 million).

USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng said that while the first 11 months of 2014 reflect a very solid performance for US beef and pork, exports face heightening economic challenges in leading markets in the coming year.

He explained: “Demand for US beef and pork remains strong, as international buyers appreciate the unmatched quality and consistency of our products. But lower slaughter numbers reduced 2014 supplies, which obviously had an impact on prices, and in recent months buying power in many key markets has been affected by slowing economic growth and weaker currencies. Market access restrictions in several important markets, including China and Russia, also had a big impact on opportunities for U.S. exports last year.

“The outlook for 2015 is for more of the same but our industry has proven its ability to identify and develop export outlets in difficult times. When I look across the world as a whole, I still see good potential for further expansion of red meat exports in 2015.”


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