WASHINGTON – Beef and pork exports made significant gains in July, according to data compiled by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

For July, beef exports climbed 9 percent in volume in July to 118,913 metric tons valued at $622.8 million, a 21 percent increase over a year ago, USMEF reported. Beef exports recorded double-digit increases in Japan, Mexico and Canada. In Japan, exports gained 57 percent in volume and 43 percent in value. Hong Kong tallied a 102 percent gain in volume and 128 percent jump in value; while exports to Taiwan leaped 158 percent in volume and 222 percent in value, according to USMEF calculations.

“On the beef side, we are seeing the results of further rationalization of import practices in a number of key Asian markets,” said Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO. “Expanded access in Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan has helped each of these key markets move closer to their full potential, and we are focusing our resources there to maximize opportunities to serve the growing demand in the region.”

Pork exports advanced 8.5 percent in volume in July to 178,794 metric tons valued at $502.6 million, a 7.5 percent increase over a year ago, according to USMEF.

Pork exports had a strong showing in Mexico, China/Hong Kong and Central and South America. For July, pork exports to Mexico jumped 21 percent in volume (55,567 metric tons) and 29 percent in value ($114.3 million). In Central/South America, pork exports jumped 49 percent in volume (9,437 metric tons) and 48 percent in value ($23 million). Pork exports in the ASEAN region gained up 60 percent in volume (6,407 metric tons) and 53.8 percent in value ($14.4 million) in July, according to USMEF.

“We are encouraged by the positive response to USMEF’s retail pork imaging campaign in Mexico, which is in direct correlation to sales growth there,” Seng said. “On the other hand, Japan is the highest-value pork market in the world, and we are facing intensified competition. We are one of 25 countries exporting pork to Japan, and while the US industry has deemphasized the priority of our promotional programs in Japan, our competitors are very aggressively working to take our market share. As a result, our share of Japan’s pork import market is down 3 percent so far this year.”