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April U.S. beef exports top $1 billion

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Data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) shows U.S. beef exports maintained an astounding pace in April, topping $1 billion for the third time this year, while the pork and lamb exports have a different story. April pork exports were well below the large totals posted a year ago, but those lamb exports are continuing to trend higher.

USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom talks about the April export numbers. He mentions the broad-spectrum markets in the beef, pork, and lamb industries, and what those growing markets look like.

“The beef numbers were up 3% which brings us right there at that 5% growth over last year’s record. And the real key on beef is the broad-based growth across quite a few different markets. We had, of course, China continues its good trend lines, but we also got you know, Taiwan, Philippines, Japan, Middle East, Caribbean. Like I said broad based growth. On the pork side, as expected we were down again because mainly because of China, down about 20% for April, which is consistent with the first quarter. We have large, record-breaking months we’re comparing to in 2021. We see China improving later in the year. Lamb was up. We continue to see trend lines up as it relates to Mexico and Caribbean in particular and hopefully those trend lines can continue.”

Halstrom notes the advantages we have in the U.S. production agricultural field. He also talks about consumers spending on high quality meat and offers insight into what continues to drive global demand for U.S. red meat amid significant headwinds.

“The advantage that the U.S. production agriculture has is that number one, we’re the global standard in terms of perception on safety. You have a US establishment number on a box, and you know, we’re the premium category on the assumption that we’re the safest product in the world. Add to that our differentiating factors of being grain fed, having a superior taste – that rich grain fed tastes on both beef and pork. We’re really marketing a different product. We’re not marketing on a commodity basis. So, I do think what we’re seeing right now is the ability of people to spend on high quality products, and then that’s helping us differentiate and hopefully price is not the first criteria, and, in most cases, it is not when it comes to U.S. pork and beef.”

For more information, visit USMEF.org.

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