Exports of U.S. beef, pork and lamb closed 2013 on a mixed note. Beef exports eclipsed the $6 billion mark for the first time, setting a new annual value record. At the same time, pork exports declined below 2012’s record highs while lamb sales rose in value on lower volumes according to statistics released by the USDA and compiled by USMEF.
Pork exports exceeded $6 billion for the third consecutive year, but declined 5 percent in volume and 4 percent in value behind 2012’s record pace, finishing at 2.14 million mt valued at $6.05 billion. Mexico, Central/South America and the ASEAN region posted strong results in December to bring the month’s totals up slightly from year-ago levels.
Strong international competition in the highest value pork export market – Japan – helped drive down U.S. pork sales there for the year by 7 percent in volume and 5 percent in value (424,858 mt valued at $1.89 billion). This is the second consecutive year of lower volumes, with declines totaling 68,455 metric tons (14 percent) since 2011. The lost volume to Japan alone is roughly equal to New Zealand’s total pork consumption.
Central/South American continued its upward trend, setting new sales records paced by strong growth in sales to Colombia, Chile and Honduras. The region closed the year up 34 percent in both volume and value at 121,413 mt valued at $305.7 million.
The ASEAN region broke its 2010 record for U.S. pork purchases, reaching 69,667 mt (up 39 percent) valued at $162.5 million (up 33 percent), driven by strong performances in the Philippines and Singapore.
Friday February 7, 2014/ USMEF/ United States.