Pork exports of 181,678 MT in November were up 8% from year-ago and the largest since May and beef exports of 95,799 MT were down 1% from year-ago, but the largest since June, according to USDA data compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
"November offered some encouraging signs for U.S. meat exports, though the results were certainly not at the levels we would like to see," said USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng. "Despite the weak peso, Mexico continues to be a very strong performer for U.S. pork, and our beef exports to Mexico have also held up fairly well. Exports to most Asian markets are showing upward momentum, but clearly the need to defend and expand our market share in Japan has never been greater."
Year-to-date pork exports of 1.94 MMT are running 3% below year-ago and are valued at $5.11 billion, a 17% drop from year-ago. USDA currently projects pork exports in 2015 to be up 1.8% from year-ago, which gives USDA some room to the downside in adjusting the export figure in tomorrow's Supply & Demand (S&D) Report. USDA looks for pork exports to grow by 3.6% in 2016.
Meanwhile, year-to-date beef exports of 973,028 MT are down 11% from year-ago and are valued at $5.8 billion, also down 11% from year-ago. USDA currently projects beef exports in 2015 to be down 13.6% from the previous year, which raises the risk of a downward adjustment in tomorrow's S&D Report. USDA sees a 9% recovery in beef exports in 2016.
Looking ahead to 2016, USMEF sees opportunities for U.S. beef and pork to regain market share, with larger U.S. production and improved market access in some key regions, but the competitive landscape remains very intense.