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Beef and Pork Exports Strong in August
USAgNet - 10/10/2016

August was a strong month for U.S. red meat exports as beef export volume was the largest in nearly two years and both beef and pork exports posted the highest monthly values of 2016, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation. August beef export volume climbed 27 percent from a year ago to 106,818 metric tons (mt) -- the highest since October 2014, breaking the 100,000 mt mark for the first time this year. Export value was $566.8 million, up 14 percent. For January through August, export volume was up 6 percent to 747,706 mt, while value was down 7 percent to just over $4 billion.

Exports accounted for 13.5 percent of total beef production in August and 10 percent for muscle cuts only -- each up about 1 percentage point from a year ago. For January through August, these ratios were roughly steady with last year at 13 percent and 10 percent, respectively. Export value per head of fed slaughter was $256.73 in August, down 4 percent from a year ago, and $252.50 for January through August, down 12 percent.

Pork exports were up 16 percent from a year ago to 186,689 mt, the largest volume ever posted in August. Export value was up 19 percent to $512.76 million. For January through August, pork export volume was 1.48 million mt, up 5 percent from the same period last year. Export value moved 1 percent ahead of last year's pace at $3.78 billion.

With August pork production at the largest level so far this year and record-large for the month of August, exports accounted for 24 percent of total production and 20 percent for muscle cuts only -- up slightly from a year ago. For January through August, exports accounted for 25 percent of total pork production and 21 percent for muscle cuts, roughly steady with last year. Export value per head slaughtered was $49.36 in August, up 7 percent from a year ago and exceeding last year's average for the third consecutive month. For the first eight months of the year, per-head value averaged $49.37, down 1 percent.

Variety meat exports provided a strong boost to the August totals for both beef and pork. Beef variety meat exports were up 25 percent from a year ago in volume (to 31,582 mt) and 28 percent in value (to $85.8 million). Pork variety meat exports were 44,563 mt valued at $88.2 million -- up 44 percent and 51 percent, respectively.

August exports of U.S. lamb totaled 768 mt, up 31 percent from last year's low volume, while export value was steady at $1.4 million. August exports were higher than a year ago to Mexico and the Middle East, but declined to the Caribbean and Canada. For January through August, lamb exports were 5 percent below last year's pace in volume (5,780 mt) and down 10 percent in value ($11.7 million).

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