US July Red Meat Exports Strong, Especially Pork

US red meat exports in July were strong, despite various trade issues, with pork shipments record large, said the US Meat Export Federation after compiling data from the USDA.

July pork exports surged to 233,242 tonnes, up 56,829, or 32.2%, from 176,413 last year and topping the previous record from April 2018, the USMEF said.

July’s pork export value was $623.252 million, up $157.970 million, or 34.0%, from $465.282 million a year ago and breaking the previous high reached in November 2017, the USMEF said.

Those results pushed January-July exports to 1.481 million tonnes, 29,882 tonnes, or 2.06%, ahead of last year’s pace of 1.451 million, while value was down 59,231 tonnes, or 1.55%, at $3.766 billion from $3.825 billion.

Pork export value averaged $58.92 per head slaughtered in July, up 22% from a year ago and the highest in five years, the USMEF said.  January-July export value averaged $51.33 a head, down 5% from the same period last year.

July exports accounted for 29.3% of total US pork production, up from 24.7% a year ago and the highest since April 2018, and 25.9% for muscle cuts only, up from 21.7% and the highest ratio in five years, the USMEF said.

For January through July, exports accounted for 26.3% of total pork production and 22.9% for muscle cuts, down from 27% and 23.3%, respectively, a year ago, the USMEF said.

Since Mexico lifted its 20% retaliatory duty on US pork in late May, exports have rebounded significantly, the USMEF said.  In July, exports to Mexico reached 67,161 tonnes, up 19% from a year ago, while value surged 38% to $126.7 million.

January-July results to Mexico still trail last year by 12% in volume (411,944 tonnes) and 14% in value ($700.7 million), but exports to Mexico are well positioned for a strong second half of 2019, the USMEF said.




Beef exports increased 1,267 tonnes, or 1.09%, year-over-year in July to 117,842 tonnes from 116,575, the USMEF said.  Export value of $720.391 million was down $1,649 million, or 0.23%, from $722,040 million a year ago but still the seventh highest monthly total on record.

January-July beef exports of 766,607 tonnes were down 12,843 tonnes, or 1.65%, from 779,450 tonnes a year ago, while export value of $4.749 billion was $7.731 million, or 0.16%, below last year’s record pace of $4.757 billion.

Beef export value per head of fed slaughter averaged $308.47 in July, down 7% from a year ago, the USMEF said, while January-July export value averaged $311.51 a head, down 2%.

July exports accounted for 14.4% of total US beef production and 11.8% for muscle cuts only, down from 15.1% and 12.9%, respectively, last year, the USMEF said.  For the first seven months of the year, exports accounted for 14.1% of total beef production and 11.6% for muscle cuts – each down one-half percentage point from a year ago.




Cash cattle trade last week was at $100 to $103 per cwt on a live basis, $2 to $5 lower than the previous week.  Dressed-basis trade was at $160 to $167, $4 to $10 lower.

The USDA choice cutout Friday was down $2.11 per cwt at $227.31, while select was off $2.53 at $201.94.  The choice/select spread widened to $25.37 from $24.95 with 93 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Thursday was $138.36 per cwt, down $0.07 from the previous day.  This compares with Friday’s Sep contract settlement of $133.35, down $1.05.