U.S. beef exports remained well above last year’s pace in July, posting one of the highest monthly export value totals on record, according to USDA statistics compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
Beef exports to leading market Japan totaled 27,689 metric tons in July, up 20 percent from a year ago and the largest since July 2013, which was shortly after Japan increased the eligible U.S. cattle age to 30 months. July export value to Japan increased 36 percent to $175.7 million, the highest monthly total since 1996.
July beef exports totaled 104,488 metric tons, up 5 percent year over year, while export value reached $623.7 million, up 18 percent from a year ago and the highest since December 2014. For January through July, exports increased 11 percent in volume (711,364 metric tons) and 15 percent in value ($3.97 billion) compared to the first seven months of last year.
Exports accounted for 13.2 percent of total U.S. beef production in July and 10.7 percent for muscle cuts only. These were the highest ratios of 2017, but down from 14.2 percent and 11 percent, respectively, last July. For January through July, beef exports accounted for 12.8 percent of total production and 10 percent for muscle cuts – roughly steady with last year.
Export value per head of fed slaughter averaged $299.21 in July, up more than $35, or 13 percent, from a year ago. Through July, per-head export value was up 9 percent to $273.52.