January exports of U.S. beef, pork and lamb were down sharply from a year ago, according to data released by USDA and compiled by USMEF. Shipping delays caused by the West Coast labor dispute combined with a number of economic factors to drive export volumes for beef and pork to four-year lows. However, USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng noted that the situations facing U.S. beef and pork are quite different. Global beef supplies are extremely tight again this year, while pork supplies are increasing and competition in major pork export markets continues to intensify.
“We expected January to be a difficult month, so these results are not especially surprising,” Seng said. “But I see the January slowdown as a wakeup call for the U.S. industry in terms of the fiercely competitive situation we face in key markets. Conditions are now improving in the West Coast ports, but the damage caused by that impasse is still not finished, and it is clear that competitors capitalized on our inability to move product in a timely fashion.… Continue readingRead More »