U.S. beef exports in 2017 exceeded the prior year’s exports in every month, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) trade data through September. Year-to-date beef exports through September total just under 2.1 billion lb., compared with 1.8 billion lb. during the same time in 2016, a 15% increase.
USDA reported that much of the growth in U.S. beef exports can be attributed to increased shipments to Japan, which has received 29% more beef so far in 2017 compared with 2016. This rise has amounted to more than 140 million lb. of beef, USDA said.
“The growth in U.S. beef exports has coincided with stronger domestic beef production and lower prices relative to recent years,” USDA explained, adding that an additional factor influencing U.S. trade has been the relative strength of the country’s dollar compared with its competitors. Between January and September 2017, the U.S. dollar depreciated by roughly 8%, according to the St. Louis, Mo., Federal Reserve’s Trade-Weighted U.S. Dollar Index.
“A depreciating dollar relative to a trading partner makes U.S. goods more attractive, because more dollars can be purchased with the same amount of the partner’s currency,” the agency explained.