2017 was a record-breaking year for U.S. red meat exports, with beef export value exceeding $7 billion for only the second time. Pork exports, meanwhile, easily surpassed the previous year’s volume record. The U.S. Meat Export Federation reports beef exports totaled 1.26 million metric tons, up 6% from 2016. This was the fourth-largest volume on record and the second-largest of the post-BSE era.
Beef export value reached $7.27 billion, up 15% year-over-year and 2% above the previous high achieved in 2014 of $7.13 billion. Pork exports totaled 2.45 million metric tons in 2017, breaking the 2016 record by 6%. Export value was $6.49 billion, up 9% year-over-year, and the second-highest on record, trailing only 2014’s $6.65 billion.
Pork exports accounted for 26.6% of total production in 2017 and 22.3% for muscle cuts only, each up nearly a full percentage point from a year ago.
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