WASHINGTON – US beef and pork exports made gains in volume and value in June, while lamb exports steadily increased, according to statistics compiled by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

Beef exports advanced 8 percent in volume to 101,720 metric tons and 21 percent in value to $562.3 million. Pork exports climbed 2.4 percent in volume to 169,098 metric tons, while registering a slight increase in value to $469.7 million.

Lamb exports in June jumped 29 percent in volume to 1,423 metric tons while gaining 4 percent in value to $2.5 million, according to USMEF.

Markets reporting strong performances in June by volume were Japan (+66 percent), Hong Kong (+156 percent), Mexico (+14 percent), Taiwan (+400 percent) and Central/South America (+62 percent; growth mainly in Peru and Chile). But the absence of beef exports to Russia made it the sixth largest market for US beef, as 5,903 metric tons of beef were exported there in June.

“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.

Pork exports to Mexico lifted the first-half total nearly even with the record pace set in 2012 as exports advanced 20 percent in June. Other top pork export growth markets in June (by volume) were Japan (+4 percent), China/Hong Kong (+15 percent), Central/South America (+54 percent; mainly to Colombia, Honduras and Chile), the ASEAN (+26 percent; mainly to the Philippines), Caribbean (+36 percent; mainly to the Dominican Republic) and Taiwan (+67 percent).

“The rebound in Mexico is particularly gratifying,” Seng said. “An abundance of domestic pork in Mexico affected demand in the first quarter and the Russia closure had a negative impact on the prices paid for hams and other cuts sold to processors in Mexico. But we are focusing on this market with a pork imaging campaign that is getting positive reviews from importers and consumers alike.”

Mexico and Canada continued to lead US lamb exports, USMEF reported. For the year, total lamb exports registered a 17 percent gain in volume to 7,263 metric tons valued at $15.7 million, which represents a 25 percent jump.