U.S. pork export in April of 188,324 MT were down 6% from year-ago and beef exports of 88,190 MT were down 4% from year-ago, but year-to-date exports of both are steady with year-ago, according to USDA data compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
"Although volumes were lower year-over-year (for the month), we did see encouraging signs in the April export results," said USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng. "While the European Union continues to be the dominant pork supplier to China, U.S. pork is achieving growth in the China/Hong Kong market despite significant market access barriers. For U.S. beef, improvement in Mexico and other Western Hemisphere markets was a very positive development. USMEF has worked closely with the retail and foodservice sectors to promote underutilized cuts and overcome our price challenges in these markets, and those efforts are definitely paying dividends."
USDA projects 2016 beef exports to recovery by 8.7% from year-ago and for pork exports to rise by 5.2%. Traders remain hopeful China's tighter pork supplies will result in ramped up exports to catch the pace up with USDA's projection. Last year exports got off to a slow start due to backlog at West Coast ports and then were impacted by a strengthening U.S. dollar index.