U.S. pork and beef exports record first quarter increases

by | May 21, 2020 | 5 Ag Stories, News, Uncategorized

U.S. Meat Export Federation staff announce, ?United States pork exports completed a tremendous first quarter with new March records for volume and value.?

Analysis of data released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows ?beef exports trended higher year-over-year in March, establishing a record first quarter pace.?

U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) president and CEO Dan Halstrom comments on first quarter growths below.

United States pork exports jumped 40-percent higher for the first quarter, versus a year ago. U.S. beef exports, on the other hand, saw a nine-percent increase.

Such increases featured solid growth of variety meat, according to Halstrom. Halstrom details what data says about overseas consumers and how they purchase food products.

?While we?re in the midst of a COVID-19 lockdown, we?re seeing a shift out of it in Asia. Markets like Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China have been out of lockdowns for almost two months. Korea and Vietnam have been out for a few weeks. Our largest market, Japan, had relaxations this week in 39 of the 47 prefectures. We?re seeing a shift back into food service demand in the Asian markets. It?s not back to normal, but it?s a slow and steady progress,? Halstrom said.

First quarter exports did not reflect damages caused by supply chain disruptions. Halstrom expects a better reflection of those damages in the second quarter, particularly in the late April/early May timeframe.

All-in-all, the outlook for red meat exports remains positive.

?Our outlook remains positive in part of improvements to market access,?? Halstrom said. ?The U.S./Japan agreement – We are seeing positive impacts. If it wasn?t the largest deal made for U.S. beef exports, it?s one of the largest and now we?re on a level playing field vis-a-vis our competition. The Phase One trade agreement (is) the same. We?re seeing dramatic growth on the pork side, field by shortages surrounding African Swine Fever in the domestic herd. On the beef side, I don?t think we?ve fully seen the reflection of positives here. We will start to see that starting in the second quarter and into the third quarter.”