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Beef and pork export demand strong

Beef and pork export demand strong

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November beef demand resulted in one of the best months for exports on record, according to an analysis from the U.S. Meat Export Federation.

Pork exports were also strong in November.

“Demand for U.S. beef in the global retail sector has been outstanding, and we expect this to continue in 2021,” USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom said in a news release. “Unfortunately, food service continues to face COVID-related challenges. We expect a broader food service recovery this year, especially from mid-2021, but will likely still see interruptions in some markets.

“For U.S. pork, it’s great to set new records with an entire month to spare, but especially gratifying to see a diverse range of markets contributing to U.S. export growth. USMEF still expects strong pork demand from China in 2021, but we’re seeing a much-needed rebound in other regions, especially in Western Hemisphere markets.”

Beef exports in November were up 6% from a year ago and were the largest for any month since July 2019. Export values were up 8% compared to a year ago.

Muscle cut exports were the third largest on record, up 13% in November. Value was up 11%, according to the USMEF.

November exports to China and Guatemala set new monthly records, while shipments to Mexico were the largest in nearly five years.

Beef exports continue to run lower than a year ago through November, down 6% in volume and 7% in value.

Pork exports were steady in November compared to a year ago, while values were down 2%. The USMEF says although China/Hong Kong remained the largest destination for U.S. pork in November, momentum continued to build in other markets including Japan, Mexico and Central America.

January-November pork exports set new annual records for both volume and value ($7.03 billion, up 13%). Pork muscle cut exports also shattered previous annual records, increasing 18% year-over-year to 2.29 million metric tons, valued at $6.08 billion (up 15%).

Led by strong variety meat demand in Mexico, U.S. lamb exports reached 1,297 metric tons in November, up 4% from a year ago, valued at $1.5 million (down 32%). For January through November, lamb exports were up 29% year-over-year at 18,652 metric tons but value slipped 8% to $21.9 million.

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Jeff DeYoung is livestock editor for Iowa Farmer Today, Missouri Farmer Today and Illinois Farmer Today.

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