WASHINGTON –  Beef export volume and value continued to trend strong by hitting the $1 billion mark in July and posting the fifth largest volume on record,  according to data compiled by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) from the US Department of Agriculture.

Total beef exports for the month of July came in at 126,567 tonnes, with export volume up 3% from the previous year. The export value hit $1.006 billion, topping the $1 billion mark for the sixth time in 2022.

The first seven months of beef exports reached 870,471 tonnes, a 6% increase from last year. Export value also increased by 29% at $7.2 billion. 

“Global demand for US beef continues to be amazingly resilient, especially at the retail level,” said Dan Halstrom, president and chief executive officer for USMEF. “Exports have also benefited from a partial rebound in the foodservice sector, but this recovery is far from complete. Many markets are still gradually easing COVID restrictions, so we definitely see opportunities for further growth as restaurant traffic returns. Headwinds remain formidable, however, including further devaluation of key trading partner currencies.”

Pork remains behind the 2021 pace but shows some strength in Colombia and the Caribbean along with staying above Mexican market exports from last year.

For pork exports, volume dropped 6% from 2021 to 208,095 tonnes as export value reached $625 million, down 5% compared to the same month last year. Through seven months, pork export volume fell 17% past the 2021 pace at 1.5 million tonnes. Export value stood at $4.24 billion, down 15% from a year ago.

“July pork exports were below last year but the good news is that the per-unit price of US pork is trending higher in the international marketplace, even while our major competitors’ prices remain below year-ago levels,” Halstrom said. “Export value per head in July reached $67.10, nearly even with year-ago and the highest since last July. We are also encouraged by the recent trendlines for pork variety meat exports, especially to China and Mexico.”

Japanese beef exports continued to be the pacesetter in the July exports, reaching 30,726 tonnes, which is up 8% from a year ago. 

Volumes also increased year-over-year to China/Hong Kong in July hitting 26,884 tonnes, up 25% from 2021. 

For July, Mexican pork exports remained strong at 70,245 tonnes, up from 6% in 2021. Export was valued at $169.6 million, which is up 16%.

Pork exports to Japan in May were at 28,745 tonnes, down 8% from a year ago. Value also fell to $116.9 million.  

Lamb exports for January-July for muscle cut exports increased 94% to 1,282 tonnes valued at $7.7 million, which is up 82%.