September exports of U.S. pork were down slightly from a year ago but maintained a robust pace, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Beef exports continued to struggle compared to last year’s record totals but showed increasing strength in Western Hemisphere markets.
Pork exports totaled 221,140 metric tons (mt) in September, down less than 1% from a year ago, while export value fell 4% to $643.7 million. September export value to Mexico increased 18% year-over-year to $207.6 million, the third highest month on record. Exports also increased strongly to Central America and Australia and trended higher to the Caribbean, Taiwan, New Zealand, Vietnam and Malaysia.
For the first three quarters of 2023, pork exports increased 9% year-over-year to 2.13 million mt and climbed 7% in value to just under $6 billion, led by record-large shipments to leading market Mexico.
September beef exports totaled 98,757 mt, down 15% from a year ago and the lowest of 2023, while value fell 12% to $795.5 million. Exports were lower across the board to major Asian destinations but gained momentum in Mexico, Canada, Central America, Colombia and Africa.
For January through September, beef exports were 13% below last year’s record pace in volume (980,100 mt) and down 18% in value ($7.49 billion).
September exports of U.S. lamb totaled 245 mt, down 9% from a year ago, while export value fell 11% to $1.17 million. Exports trended higher to the Caribbean, including increases to Trinidad and Tobago, the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic and the Leeward-Windward Islands, but were lower to Mexico and Canada. For January through September, lamb exports were down 5% to 1,872 mt, valued at $9.5 million (down 10%).