Tag Archives: USMEF

On July 19, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the allocation of additional funding under USDA’s Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP), a key component of the Trump administration’s trade mitigation package designed to address the adverse effects of retaliatory measures impacting exports of U.S. agricultural products.

The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) is one of 48 organizations that will receive additional ATP funding through the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom issued the following statement:

While there has been progress in recent weeks in removing retaliatory measures imposed on U.S. red meat exports, the obstacles these products face in international markets are still significant. USMEF greatly appreciates the Trump administration’s authorization of additional ATP funding – an investment that will help USMEF and other organizations defend our existing market share and develop new markets for U.S. agricultural exports.

May exports of U.S. pork and beef were steady with last year’s strong volumes and increased year-over-year in value, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

Pork exports totaled 217,999 metric tons (mt) in May, steady with last year’s pace, while value increased 1% to $567.8 million – the highest monthly value total since April 2018. For January through May, pork exports were still 4% below last year in volume (1.035 million mt) and down 10% in value to $2.57 billion.

Pork export value averaged $54.83 per head slaughtered in May, the highest monthly average since May 2018 ($55.05). For January through May, export value averaged $48.74 per head, down 12% from the same period last year. May exports accounted for 27.3% of total U.S. pork production and 23.2% for muscle cuts only, down from 27.8% and 24%, respectively, a year ago. For January through May, exports accounted for 25.4% of total pork production (down from 27.5%) and 22.1% for muscle cuts (down from 23.7%).

May beef exports were also steady year-over-year in volume (117,541 mt) while export value increased 1% to $727.6 million – the second-highest on record, trailing only the August 2018 total of $751.7 million. For January through May, exports were 3% below last year’s record pace in volume (530,088 mt) but only slightly lower in value at $3.3 billion.

Beef export value per head of fed slaughter averaged $312.85 in May, down slightly from a year ago. For January through May, beef export value averaged $309.33 per head, down 3%. May exports accounted for 14.6% of total U.S. beef production and 12% for muscle cuts only, each down slightly from a year ago. For January through May, exports accounted for 14% of total production and 11.3% for muscle cuts – down from 14.6% and 11.9%, respectively, a year ago. (Please note: due to a calculation error, the percentage of beef production exported was incorrectly reported from January 2017 through April 2019. These ratios have now been corrected, and are about 1.1 percentage points higher than originally reported.)

Rebound in Japan and China/Hong Kong offsets slower pork exports to Mexico

After trending lower through the first four months of 2019, May pork exports to leading value market Japan increased 5% from a year ago in volume (36,373 mt) and 3% in value ($148.6 million, the highest in 18 months.) Stronger May volumes included growth in chilled pork, up 2.5% to 19,795 mt. For January through May, exports to Japan were still 5% behind last year’s pace in volume (159,539 mt) and down 7% in value ($642 million). But chilled exports held close to last year at 87,362 mt, down less than 1% (valued at $414.9 million, down 2%). Japan’s import data shows the biggest decrease from the U.S. is in ground seasoned pork (GSP), where the U.S. faces the full 20% duty and competitors pay 13.3%. Japan’s imports of U.S. pork fell by $76 million through May, including a $46 million decrease in GSP.

Despite the continued 50% retaliatory duty on U.S. pork going to China, May also brought an uptick in pork exports to China/Hong Kong, which increased 33% from a year ago in volume to 45,442 mt, while value increased 5% to $84 million. Through the first five months of 2019, exports to the region still trailed last year by 7% in volume (173,642 mt) and 25% in value ($326 million).

On May 20, the 20% retaliatory duty on most U.S. pork entering Mexico was removed as the U.S., Mexico and Canada reached an agreement on steel and aluminum tariffs. While the return to duty-free status is expected to fuel a rebound in pork exports to Mexico, it came too late to have much impact on May results as exports fell 26% from a year ago in volume to 52,555 mt and 15% in value to $98.4 million. For January through May, exports to Mexico were down 19% in volume (284,946 mt) and 27% in value ($454.9 million).

“May export results for U.S. pork were very encouraging, especially the renewed momentum in Japan and China/Hong Kong,” said USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “When exports to Mexico get back on track and trade talks with Japan and China show progress, this will be a very welcome lift for the U.S. pork industry.”

All of U.S. pork and beef’s major competitors gained tariff relief in Japan this year through the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the economic partnership agreement between Japan and the European Union, making red meat trade a major focus of the ongoing U.S.-Japan trade agreement negotiations. Access for U.S. agricultural products was also a priority in the high-level U.S.-China trade talks that broke off in early May but which are expected to resume following President Trump’s June 29 meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Other January-May highlights for U.S. pork include:

  • South America is the leading tonnage growth market for U.S. pork in 2019 as continued growth in Colombia and Chile pushed exports 40% above last year’s record pace in volume (71,240 mt) and 37% higher in value ($171.8 million). Exports to Peru cooled in May but remain significantly higher year-over-year.
  • Exports to Oceania continue to climb, increasing 45% in volume (52,502 mt) and 30% in value ($138.7 million) from a year ago. Australia is one of U.S. pork’s top-performing markets in 2019, with volume up 45% from last year’s record pace to 48,110 mt and value increasing 29% to $125.4 million. U.S. share of Australia’s imports climbed to 52%, compared to 45% last year. Exports to New Zealand were also significantly higher in both volume (4,392 mt, up 43%) and value ($13.3 million, up 33%).
  • Also coming off a record year in 2018, exports to Central America climbed 11% in both volume (37,416 mt) and value ($88.2 million). While exports to leading market Honduras were up slightly from a year ago, double-digit growth was achieved in Guatemala, Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
  • While pork exports to Taiwan slowed in May, January-May volume still increased 60% from a year ago to 9,972 mt while value was up 44% to $22 million.

Korea, Taiwan lead strong month for beef exports

Beef exports to South Korea remained on a record pace in May, climbing 11% to 23,004 mt and 13% in value to $165 million. January-May exports to Korea were 11% above last year in volume (101,761 mt) and 15% higher in value ($743.5 million). With continued growth at retail and foodservice, U.S. share of Korea’s chilled beef imports reached a post-BSE high of 61%, up from 57% last year and 52% in 2017. Chilled beef from the U.S. totaled 22,268 mt, up 8% year-over-year, valued at $224 million, up 12%.

Following a fairly steady first quarter, beef exports to Taiwan strengthened for the second straight month in May at 5,873 mt (up 27% from a year ago), valued at $52.6 million (up 28%). Through May, exports to Taiwan were 11% above last year’s record pace in volume (24,478 mt) and 4% higher in value ($218.2 million).

Though slightly below last year’s level, May export volume to leading market Japan rebounded to 29,749 mt, while value was down 3% to $190.8 million. Export volume through May was steady with last year’s pace at 128,045 mt while value increased 1% to $828 million. This performance was driven in part by a large increase in beef variety meat exports (mainly tongues and skirts), which jumped 23% in volume (24,135 mt) and 20% in value ($157.5 million). Despite the tariff disadvantages, U.S. beef’s share of Japan’s imports has held nearly steady this year at 41%, but with a level playing field there are tremendous opportunities for growth. For example, Japan’s imports of Canadian and Mexican beef increased by 76% and 39%, respectively, through May.

“The explosive growth U.S. beef has achieved in Korea and Taiwan is a testament to the quality of the product and the outstanding customer base the U.S. industry has established over the years,” Halstrom said. “That same dynamic is present in Japan, on an even larger scale. But for Japan to remain the ‘strong growth’ column, it is essential that we have market access comparable to our key competitors.”

Other January-May highlights for U.S. beef include:

  • Mexico is a very solid market for U.S. beef in 2019. Although exports through May were 2% below last year’s pace at 97,102 mt, value increased 8% to $462.1 million. This was due to strong growth in muscle cut exports, which were up 7% from a year ago in volume (59,357 mt) and 10% in value ($361.5 million).
  • Exports to the Dominican Republic remain on a tremendous roll, soaring 50% above last year’s record pace in volume (3,741 mt) and gaining 39% in value to $30.3 million. U.S. beef continues to capitalize on market access improvements secured in the Dominican Republic-Central-America-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), with exports to Central America also increasing 5% from a year ago in volume (5,699 mt) and 10% in value ($33.8 million). Growth leaders in the region include Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
  • January-May exports to Egypt, the largest destination for U.S. beef livers, were down 7% year-over-year in volume at 28,912 mt, but increased 6% in value to $34.8 million. Exports strengthened in May, increasing 26% in volume (6,224 mt) and 35% in value ($7.1 million) year-over-year. This was significant, as changes in Egypt’s halal certification process that took effect May 1 are a concern for the U.S. industry. But at least so far, these changes do not appear to be slowing exports.
  • Retaliatory tariffs in China and other market access challenges limited U.S. beef exports to China/Hong Kong, with January-May volume down one-third to 38,405 mt and value declining by 27% to $322 million.

Mexico fuels big month for U.S. lamb exports

Recent momentum for U.S. lamb exports has been led by strong variety meat demand in Mexico. Lamb variety meat exports to Mexico set a record in 2018 at more than 10,000 mt and are well ahead of that pace this year. One of the factors driving this success is the growing popularity of lamb neck meat for barbacoa, an item USMEF has aggressively promoted to importers in Mexico. Lamb muscle cut exports to Mexico also climbed significantly in May as combined lamb and lamb variety meat exports reached 1,155 mt, up 41% from a year ago, while value increased 67% to $1.4 million.

On a global basis, May lamb exports totaled 1,310 mt, up 31% from a year ago, while value increased 30% to $2.3 million. This pushed January-May exports 51% above last year in volume (6,710 mt) and 26% higher in value ($11.5 million). For muscle cuts only, January-May lamb exports were up 14% in volume (1,041 mt) and 19% in value ($6.7 million).

Complete January-May export results for U.S. beef, pork and lamb are available from USMEF’s statistics Web page.

Monthly charts for U.S. pork and beef exports are also available online.

NOTES:

  • Export statistics refer to both muscle cuts and variety meat, unless otherwise noted.
  • One metric ton (mt) = 2,204.622 pounds.
  • U.S. pork currently faces retaliatory duties in China. China’s duty rate on frozen pork muscle cuts and variety meat increased from 12 to 37% in April and from 37 to 62% in July. Mexico’s duty rate on pork muscle cuts increased from zero to 10% in June 2018 and jumped to 20% the following month. Beginning in June 2018, Mexico also imposed a 15% duty on sausages and a 20% duty on some prepared hams. Mexico’s duties were removed in May 2019 but were in effect for the period reported above.
  • U.S. beef faces retaliatory duties in China. China’s duty rate on beef muscle cuts and variety meats increased from 12 to 37% in July 2018. Canada imposed a 10% duty in July 2018 that applied to HS 160250 cooked/prepared beef products. Canada’s duty was removed in May 2019 but was in effect for the period reported above.

April exports of U.S. beef and pork were lower than a year ago while U.S. lamb exports continued their upward trend, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

Beef exports totaled 105,241 metric tons (mt) in April, down 5% year-over-year, though export value was down only slightly at $674.2 million. For January through April, exports were 4% below last year’s record pace in volume (412,547 mt) and 1% lower in value ($2.58 billion).

On a per-head basis, beef export value per head of fed slaughter averaged $305.61 (down 7% from April 2018). The January-April average was $308.34 per head, down 3% from a year ago. April exports accounted for 12.5% of total U.S. beef production and 10.2% for muscle cuts only, down from 14.1% and 11.3%, respectively, a year ago. For January through April, these ratios were 12.7% and 10.2% (down from 13.4% and 10.8%).

Pork exports totaled 216,757 mt in April, down 6% from a year ago, valued at $535.2 million (down 8%). January-April exports were also 6% below last year’s pace in volume (817,025 mt) and were down 12% in value to just over $2 billion.

Pork export value averaged $50.58 per head slaughtered in April, down 13% from a year ago but the highest in 10 months. For January through April, export value averaged $47.25 per head, down 15% from the same period last year. April exports accounted for 26.6% of total U.S. pork production and 23.3% for muscle cuts only – down from 29.9% and 25.8%, respectively, in April 2018. January-April exports accounted for 24.9% of total pork production (down from 27.4%) and 21.8% for muscle cuts (down from 23.7%).

Beef demand strong in Korea and Taiwan; Japan edges lower

South Korea remains the export growth leader for U.S. beef, with April volume up 18% to 22,584 mt. April value surged 22% to $164.3 million, surpassing Japan as the month’s leading value market. January-April exports to Korea were 11% ahead of last year’s record pace in volume (78,757 mt) and climbed 15% higher in value ($578.5 million). U.S. share of Korea’s total beef imports climbed to 47.5%, up a full percentage point from last year. U.S. share of Korea’s chilled beef imports reached 60%.

Taiwan is also coming off a record year for U.S. beef exports and posted a strong April at 5,118 mt (up 15% from a year ago) valued at $47.9 million (up 14%). Through April, exports to Taiwan totaled 18,605 mt (up 6%) valued at $165.6 million (down 2%).

In Japan, where all of U.S. beef’s major competitors have gained tariff relief in 2019, April exports were down 6% from a year ago in both volume (24,149 mt) and value ($156.8 million). Export volume through April was steady with last year’s pace at 98,296 mt while value increased 2% to $637.2 million. U.S. market share in Japan is still more than 41%, but this is down from nearly 45% in the first four months of 2017. For chilled beef, U.S. share has slipped two percentage points to 47.4%. In April, Japan’s imports from Mexico more than tripled year-over-year and imports also increased from Canada (up 52%), New Zealand (up 41%) and Australia (up 9%) as competitors of U.S. beef benefited from lower tariff rates.

“U.S. beef is holding its own in Japan, but the April numbers are telling,” cautioned USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “With the April 1 rate cut, Australian, Canadian, New Zealand and Mexican beef are now subject to a 26.6% duty while the rate for U.S. beef remains at 38.5%. It is absolutely essential that the U.S. secures an agreement that will level this playing field. U.S. beef’s exceptional growth in Korea is a great example of what’s possible when tariffs are less of an obstacle.”

Other January-April highlights for U.S. beef include:

  • Beef exports to Mexico continue to post strong results, especially for muscle cuts. Combined beef/beef variety meat exports through April were 2% below last year’s pace at 76,870 mt, but value increased 9% to $372.4 million. For muscle cuts only, exports to Mexico climbed 8% from a year ago in volume (47,379 mt) and 11% in value ($293.3 million).
  • Strong growth in the Philippines fueled a 20% increase in beef exports to the ASEAN region as volume reached 17,770 mt, valued at $86.9 million (up 6%). Export volume also trended higher to Indonesia and Vietnam.
  • An exceptional performance in the Dominican Republic is fueling a strong year for U.S. beef in the Caribbean. Exports to the Dominican Republic soared 56% above last year’s pace in volume (3,068 mt) and 50% higher in value ($25 million). The Caribbean was up 16% in volume (9,826 mt) and 18% in value ($65.2 million) with exports also trending higher for Jamaica and the Bahamas.
  • Exports to Hong Kong slipped 36% from a year ago in volume (27,825 mt) and were 29% lower in value ($236.6 million). Despite a 25% retaliatory duty, U.S. beef exports to China increased 5% to 2,417 mt, but value was down 15% to $18.2 million as most of the tariff cost was borne by U.S. suppliers. China’s beef imports already eclipsed $2 billion through the first four months of this year, up 54% from last year’s record pace, but the U.S. holds less than 1% of China’s booming beef import market.
  • Exports to Canada were down 15% in volume to 31,070 mt and 14% in value to just under $200 million. Demand has been impacted by larger Canadian beef production in 2019, but elimination of the 10% retaliatory duty on prepared beef products from the U.S. will help exports in this important category rebound.

Latin America, Oceania, Taiwan bolster pork exports

On May 20, the 20% retaliatory duty on most U.S. pork entering Mexico was removed, as the U.S., Mexico and Canada reached an agreement on steel and aluminum tariffs. This was obviously too late to boost April pork exports to Mexico, which sank 30% from a year ago in volume (54,971 mt) and 29% in value to $94.5 million. For January through April, exports to Mexico were down 18% in volume (232,391 mt) and 29% in value ($356.5 million).

“Lifting of Mexico’s retaliatory duties was the most welcome news the U.S. pork industry has received in a long time,” Halstrom said. “Now let’s hope the duty-free access U.S. pork has enjoyed in Mexico since late May isn’t short-lived.”

President Trump has proposed a 5% tariff on all goods imported from Mexico unless more steps are taken to curb illegal migration at the U.S.-Mexico border. The tariff would take effect June 10 and increase to 25% by Oct. 1, but negotiations are ongoing and Mexico has not yet announced any retaliatory measures.

U.S. pork also faces a significant disadvantage in China, where retaliatory duties remain in effect and competitors are positioning to fill China’s looming African swine fever-driven pork shortfall. January-April exports to China/Hong Kong were 16% below last year’s pace in volume (128,200 mt) and down 32% in value ($242 million).

Leading value market Japan has not imposed any new tariffs on U.S. pork but its main competitors (European, Canadian and Mexican pork) have gained tariff relief in 2019. January-April exports of U.S. pork to Japan were down 7% from a year ago in volume (123,166 mt) and fell 9% in value ($493.3 million), as U.S. share of Japan’s total imports fell from 36% last year to 32%. The sharpest decline was in Japan’s imports of U.S. ground seasoned pork, which were down nearly $40 million.

January-April highlights for U.S. pork include:

  • A strong performance in mainstay market Colombia and excellent growth in Chile and Peru drove exports to South America 44% above last year’s record pace in volume (57,005 mt) and 42% higher in value ($136.9 million). In Colombia, where USMEF has helped bolster demand for U.S. pork through promotional campaigns, educational seminars and enhanced efforts to overcome technical barriers, exports climbed 25% from a year ago to 37,283 mt valued at $79.6 million (up 17%). Last year, even with domestic production on the rise, the Colombian market took more than $215 million in U.S. pork, more than double the value exported in 2016.
  • Exports to Central America are also coming off a record year in 2018 and climbed 11% in volume (29,321 mt) and 8% in value ($68.3 million), led by growth in Guatemala, Panama and Costa Rica.
  • April exports to Australia were the largest of 2019, pushing January-April volume to 37,979 mt (up 37% from last year’s record pace) valued at $98.6 million (up 21%). Exports to New Zealand are also performing extremely well in 2019, climbing 53% in volume (3,390 mt) and 36% in value ($10.1 million). Oceania is a strong region for U.S. hams used for further processing, which is especially important at a time when ham exports to Mexico and China were being pressured by tariffs.
  • Despite facing ractopamine-related restrictions in Taiwan, exports increased 80% in volume (8,819 mt) and 55% in value ($19.3 million). Exports to Taiwan slumped in 2016 but have been rebounding over the past 2½ years.

Momentum continues to grow for U.S. lamb

Strong variety meat demand in Mexico and muscle cut growth in the Caribbean, the Middle East and Panama have fueled an upward trend in U.S. lamb exports. April exports totaled 1,227 mt, up 26% from a year ago, while value was up 15% to $2.2 million. For January-April, exports were up 56% year-over-year in volume (5,400 mt) and up 26% in value ($9.1 million). Muscle cut exports were up 17% in volume to 828 mt and climbed 19% in value to $5.4 million.

Complete January-April export results for U.S. beef, pork and lamb are available from USMEF’s statistics Web page.

Monthly charts for U.S. pork and beef exports are also available online.