Strong June results capped a tremendous first half of 2018 for U.S. beef exports. That’s according to USDA data compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation. June pork exports were lower than a year ago for the second straight month, but first-half volume and value remained ahead of last year’s pace. Beef muscle cut exports set a new volume record in June, coming in at 90,745 metric tons, 15% higher than in 2017. By adding in variety meat, total beef export volume was more than 115,000 metric tons. That’s 6% higher than 2017 and valued at $718 million dollars.
International customers bought a larger share of beef production, even at higher prices, which indicates strong demand. After setting a new record in April, pork export volume has trended lower the past two months, mainly due to a drop in exports to the China/Hong Kong region. June pork exports totaled 191,303 metric tons, 4.5% lower than last year.
The USMEF said pork exports face a challenging environment in China and Hong Kong. It’s not just because of retaliatory tariffs, but also because China is increasing domestic production.
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