United States (US) beef and pork export values reached new records during the first quarter (Q1) of 2018, according to a newly released report from the US Meat Export Federation. Strong international demand has boosted the trade and prices of these products. US beef exports are up nine percent year-over-year (YOY) at just over 318,000 tonnes, representing a 19 percent YOY increase in export value to $1.92 billion. For the month of March, beef export value jumped above a record previously reached in October 2014. Japan is currently the top destination for US beef. Although Q1 export volume dropped three percent from the same time last year, export value increased eight percent YOY, for a gain of $459.5 million. Exports to other Asian countries are also up, including Taiwan, China, and Korea as their domestic demand numbers continue to grow.
US pork export volume in the first quarter of 2018 is up just one percent YOY, but export value is up eight percent from Q1 of 2017 to $1.7 billion. March export volume was unchanged from the same time last year, but value increased four percent YOY to $610.4 million, reflecting the higher prices US products command in international markets. Japan is also the leading value market for US pork, but Mexico imports the most US pork by volume. Both markets remained stable compared to last year. Export volume to China decreased by 15 percent YOY and could see a continued drop because of increased Chinese production and recently imposed retaliatory trade tariffs between the two countries in the midst of an ongoing trade war.
Beef and pork exports are vital for US agricultural trade, and Gro Intelligence subscribers can monitor trade flows to stay current with market trends and ongoing developments.