“That was on a value basis, up by a third year-on-year,” says Erin Borror, the Vice President for Economic Analysis at the U.S. Meat Export Federation.
“So, for a little bit of context, we’ve seen those beef prices, including for the export items accelerate from about April-May a year ago,” says Borror. “So, we’re going to get into more challenging year on year comparisons, especially from the middle of this year. But yes, every month continues to be impressive, and it’s exporting a larger share of production and pretty widespread growth.”
Borror said China, including Hong Kong, continue to be big gainers.
“Korea [is] up nine percent in the first quarter on volume. China, including Hong Kong [is] up 36 percent, again. [The] Middle East is coming back in on both variety meats and muscle cuts.
“Taiwan [is] up 47 percent, a huge star into that market, and then in the islands in the Caribbean and the Dominican Republic, we’re seeing some food service coming back in there. They were up 41 percent, and Central America has been really strong on both beef and pork, and they continue to grow, so those beef volumes into Central America up 14 percent,” according to Borror.
However, the market is still struggling with setbacks in China due to its recent COVID lockdown and restrictions.
“We’ve maybe pulled back our growth for the entire year a bit given the situation mostly in Shanghai but in other cities, and then of course concerns about Beijing,” says Borror. “The current situation, we can’t really downplay its significance. Most of U.S. beef had been going into that Shanghai port and we know that moving products out of ports and just trucking out of the region, plus some restrictions even on cold storage, especially if there’s a COVID case, there’s big challenges for moving product, not to mention demand impacts with restrictions on food service. But still, this can’t last forever, and we know there’s still the demand in that market.”
Click BELOW to hear C.J. Miller’s report on the export growth of U.S. beef.