May Beef Exports Shatter Record, Pork Exports Go Lower

U.S. beef exports set a new value record in May, while also significantly increasing year-over-year in volume. That’s according to new data released by the USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation. May pork exports were lower, although January-May totals for U.S. pork remained ahead of last year’s pace.

Beef export volume was 117,871 metric tons in May, the sixth-largest on record, and valued at a remarkable $722.1 million. That total surpassed the previous monthly high (March 2018) by a healthy four percent and was 24 percent higher than a year ago. Exports accounted for 13.6 percent of total beef production in May, up 13 percent from last year.

Following a record performance in April, pork exports were down in May to 217,209 metric tons, two percent lower than last year and reflecting smaller exports of variety meats. Export value was $562.5 million, down 3.5 percent. Japan and South Korea continue to lead the way in U.S. beef export growth. In May, export volume shipped to Japan totaled 30,117 metric tons, 19 percent higher than a year ago and valued at $196.8 million, up 22 percent over last year.