WASHINGTON – While demand for beef has fueled profitability for US-based companies in 2021, including Tyson Foods Inc., value for US beef exports set a new annual record in October with two months left to go in 2021. According to the US Meat Export Federation’s (USMEF’s) compilation of data from the US Department of Agriculture, value of US beef exports topped $8.53 billion after 10 months, breaking 2018’s total for the year of $8.33 billion. USMEF’s latest report on US red meat exports is available here.

Meanwhile, pork exports stuttered in October, but remained on pace to exceed shipments compared to the previous year. US pork exports lagged October 2020 volumes by 7%, at 226.2 tonnes and value dipped to $618.8 million, down 3.5% from the same month last year. However, thanks to record demand from Mexico this year, year-to-date volume was up by 2.47 million tonnes with value increasing 8%, to $6.84 billion.

Demand for US lamb exports from Mexico, Singapore and the Caribbean contributed to an increase of 56% in volume, at 1,075 tonnes and a 56% increase in value, at $1.95 million for the month, which was the highest level in 18 months.

“USMEF has always prioritized market diversification, and this is more critical than ever now that the red meat industry faces unprecedented transportation challenges and rising input costs," said Dan Halstrom, president and chief executive officer of USMEF. “Exports will likely reach about $18 billion in 2021, which is a remarkable achievement.”

Halstrom added that while the latest report is cause for optimism, there are concerns about market headwinds in the coming year.

“While global demand is tremendous and we are cautiously optimistic about further growth in 2022, supply chain pressures are not easy to overcome and are a growing concern for exporters and their international customers,” he said.

USMEF said foodservice demand in many foreign markets, including Korea and Japan, is still being hindered by pandemic-based restrictions that limit traffic at many restaurants and foodservice outlets.