A strong performance by the top three international markets kept U.S. beef exports on an upward path in August, according to statistics released by the USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation.
Beef sales to Japan, Mexico and Canada all posted solid gains in August along with a resurgent Taiwan market as overall U.S. beef exports grew 5% in volume and 16% in value compared to year-ago levels, reaching 105,544 metric tons valued at $563.3 million.
For the first eight months of 2012, beef exports are up 1% in volume and 10% in value to 767,017 metric tons valued at $4.01 billion.
The export value per head of fed slaughter for beef in August averaged $253.87, up $46.16 from last year. Beef exports accounted for 11% of muscle cuts and 13.6% of total production, up roughly 1 percentage point for each.
Top beef markets
The top three export markets for U.S. beef all performed well in August. Japan showed a 36.5% hike in volume and 13.3% jump in value. For the year, U.S. exports to Japan are up 53% in volume and 38% in value.
Totals for Mexico in August rose 11.2% in volume: 20,208 metric tons valued at $88.9 million, a 24% jump, which helped year-to-date totals that are down 7% in volume and 5% in value.
Exports to Canada continued their positive trend, up 9.3% in volume and 7.6% in value. Yearly totals are up 8% in volume and 12% in value.
Other top-performing beef markets in August included Hong Kong, up 67% in volume and 142% in value; South Korea, up 35.8% in value on slightly lower volume of 7,646 metric tons; Taiwan, up 578% in volume and 684% in value; and Central/South America, up 13% in volume and 24% in value, led by strong growth to Chile.