U.S. red meat sales turned in strong figures in November as beef values soared to record levels, according to statistics released by the USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation
Driven by sustained export growth to Japan and Hong Kong and the continued rebound of the Mexican market, U.S. beef exports surged 11% in volume and 16% in value compared to November 2012, putting 11-month totals at nearly 1.1 million metric tons.
Export value reached $5.61 billion, an 11% increase over last year's pace and already ahead of the 2012 year-end total of $5.51 billion.
"We continue to see benefits from expanded market access for beef in Japan and Hong Kong," said USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng. "At the same time, the lack of access for U.S. beef to Mainland China and the closure of the Russian market for both pork and beef – which is approaching a year in duration – are significant barriers."
November beef exports
Beef exports accounted for 14.3% of total U.S. beef production and 11% of muscle cuts alone compared to 12 and 9%, respectively, in November of 2012.
The export value per head of fed slaughter in November jumped to $267.36, an increase of $51.41 over last year.
The top-performing beef export markets in November were Japan, up 74% in volume and valued at $101.2 million; Mexico, up more than 62% in volume and valued at $82.9 million; Hong Kong, up 112% in volume and valued at $98.1 million; and the ASEAN region, up 22% in volume and valued at $14.1 million, led by a recovery of exports to Indonesia.
Japan is the top volume and value market for U.S. beef exports, totaling 219,081 mt (up 52%) valued at $1.3 billion (up 34%) for the year. Mexico is the No. 2 volume market for U.S. beef for the year, totaling 191,984 mt (up 8%) valued at $819.9 million (up 8%).
Complete export results are available on the USMEF statistics webpage.