Exports of U.S. beef and pork enjoyed their best month of the year in June, rising both in volume and value over 2012 levels, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation.
Pork exports in June increased 2.4% in volume to 169,098 metric tons while edging a fraction higher in value to $469.7 million. Beef exports fared even better, rising 8% in volume to 101,720 metric tons and 21% in value to $562.3 million.
"There is no question that challenges persist, such as the continued closure of the Russian market, but we are seeing positive signs from key markets, including Japan and Mexico, that are vital trading partners for our industry," said Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO.
Another positive growth metric in June was the per-head export value recorded for both beef and pork. Beef export value was a record $260.21 per head of fed slaughter, a $56.31 increase over June of 2012. For pork, the per-head export value was $57.27 in June versus $54.78 last year.
Top performing beef export markets in June by volume were Japan (+66%), Hong Kong (+156%), Mexico (+14%), Taiwan (+400%) and Central/South America (+62%).
"We are focused on the markets where we can take advantage of opportunities, such as expanded access for U.S. beef in Japan, the rebound in Taiwan and continued growth of the Hong Kong and Central/South America markets," Seng said.