IN November, sales of U.S. beef set a new value record and pork exports posted their strongest month, while overall red meat exports were solid, according to statistics released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation.
Compared to the same calendar month a year ago, U.S. beef exports rose 11% in volume and 16% in value to $524.5 million. Export growth in Japan and Hong Kong and a rebound in sales to Mexico pushed the 11-month total to nearly 1.1 million metric tons, up 3% from 2012 (Figure 1).
Japan remained the top market for U.S. beef exports by volume and value, totaling 219,081 mt in volume and $1.3 billion in value at the end of November.
Exports to the number-two market, Mexico, totaled 191,984 mt in volume and $819.9 million in value.
Canada holds the number-three spot, but total volume decreased 1% to 159,887 mt, with a value of $1.08 billion.
November was a strong month for U.S. pork exports. The export value per head increased $1.09 from the previous year to $57.07. The 1.95 mmt 11-month total for pork exports trailed the record-high numbers of 2012 by 6% in volume and 5% in value (Figure 2).
Total exports in November were 192,657 mt, down 4%, with a value of $550.7 million, down nearly 3%.
The top-performing export market for U.S. pork for the month was Mexico, with volume totaling 58,678 mt at a value of $124.3 million.
Exports already set a new annual record to Central/South America, which had the second-highest demand for U.S. pork. November exports increased 58% to 15,876 mt, with 77% growth in value to $42.2 million.
Rounding out the remaining spots for the top-five U.S. pork markets were Hong Kong with 7,326 mt, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations with 5,831 mt and the Caribbean with 4,281 mt.