Following a record-breaking performance in 2019, U.S. pork exports maintained a torrid pace in January, while beef exports were also higher year-over-year.
The U.S. Meat Export Federation said January pork exports cooled slightly from the volume and value records established in December 2019, but still far exceeded year-ago levels. Both the January export volume of 273,603 metric tons, up 36 percent year-over-year, and export value at $738.7 million, up 50 percent, were the second-highest on record.
Meanwhile, beef exports posted more modest growth in January, increasing 2.5 percent from a year ago in volume at 107,374 metric tons and five percent in value at $672.7 million. Exports accounted for 13.1 percent of total beef production, down slightly from a year ago.
Release of the January export data comes as coronavirus is dominating news headlines, including those related to global trade. USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom said the virus has had an impact on red meat exports, which will likely be more evident in February and March data.