Beef exports were the largest in two years, while values were the highest of 2016. 

WASHINGTON – August beef exports climbed 27 percent from a year ago, while pork exports were up 16 percent, the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) reported.

US red meat exports posted a strong performance for August, with beef export volume the largest in nearly two years while beef and pork exports tallied the highest monthly values so far in 2016. August beef export volume climbed to 106,818 metric tons (mt), which was the highest volume since October 2014. Export value was $566.8 million, a 14 percent increase. USMEF said export volume for January through August climbed 6 percent to 747,706 mt, while value retreated 7 percent to $4 billion.

“US livestock producers deserve some good news in what has been a tough year, and this upward trend in exports is very encouraging,” Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO, said in a statement. “Currently US beef and pork are very competitive, as the production of our key competitors — Australia and the European Union — has moderated and prices have jumped.”

Pork exports advanced 16 percent to 186,689 mt, which was the largest volume ever posted in August, according to USMEF’s analysis. Export value was up 19 percent to $512.76 million. Pork export volume for January through August improved 5 percent to 1.48 mt, while export value edged 1 percent higher ahead of 2015 at $3.78 billion.

Exports of beef accounted for 13.5 percent of total production in August and 10 percent for muscle cuts only, USMEF said. In the pork sector, exports accounted for 24 percent of total production and 20 percent for muscle cuts only with August pork production at the highest level so far in 2016 and a record for August.

“As US competitiveness continues to improve,” Seng said, “we remain optimistic that exports will maintain positive momentum through the end of this year and into 2017.”