Pork exports climbed 11 percent year-over-year in May to 222,015 metric tons (mt) in May. USMEF said the increase represented the fourth-largest monthly volume on record. Pork export value was up 16 percent to $583.2 million. For January through May, exports increased 14 percent compared with a year ago in volume (1.05 million mt, a record pace) and 18 percent in value ($2.68 billion).
Meanwhile, exports of US beef advanced 6 percent to 105,321 mt compared with a year ago, USMEF reported. For the month, beef exports increased 9 percent in value to $582.6 million. Additionally, beef exports gained 12 percent in volume (497,322 mt) and 16 percent in value ($2.75 billion) during the period of January through May.
Variety meats performed well in May, with pork variety meat export volume climbing a record-high 16 percent to 47,766 mt. Export value of variety meats jumped 33 percent to $102.7 million. USMEF noted that beef variety meat exports reached 2017 highs in both volume (30,173 mt, up 12 percent) and value ($77.7 million, up 10 percent).
Even lamb exports showed improvement after slumping in April, according to USMEF. Exports of US lamb rebounded in May as volume reached 634 mt, an increase of 14 percent from a year ago, while value increased 5 percent to $1.62 million. However, lamb exports through May were still down 20 percent compared with year ago in volume (3,113 mt) but increased 3 percent in value to $7.9 million. For lamb muscle cuts only, exports from January to May exports increased 12 percent from a year ago in volume (867 mt) and 14 percent in value ($5.4 million), including growth in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America, USMEF said.
“2017 is shaping up as a very solid year for US pork and beef exports, but we remain in an extremely competitive situation in each of our key markets,” said Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO. “That’s why it is so important to capitalize on every opportunity to increase carcass value, and this is where variety meat plays an important role. USMEF has been working with our industry partners to expand the range of variety meat product offerings and diversify their destinations, and those efforts are paying important dividends for producers.”