The fall in US beef exports in 2023 from last year’s record highs continued in June, with volumes down 14% on May 2022 at 116,159t, according to the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

The value of these exports was down 19% compared with May last year at $874.7m (€795.2m).

This leaves year-to-date volume down 10% at 554,069t, but the value has fallen by 21% at $4.09bn (€3.7bn).

Exporters ‘squeezed’

With cattle prices higher than a year ago and export values falling, exporters have been squeezed so far this year.

USMEF president, Dan Halstrom, said that “US beef exports face considerable headwinds in 2023, on both the supply and demand side, especially when compared to last year’s massive totals”.

Asian exports decline

US beef exports showed decline in all their major Asian export markets. South Korea was down 12% in May and 11% overall this year so far, at 112,365t, with the value down 30%.

Similarly, Japan is down 15% year-to-date at 108,359t, and again value is down by a higher percentage, at 27% January to May and down 40% in May alone.

China, which has been a rapidly expanding market for US exports, is also down so far this year by 11% to 98,671t, with value down 16%.

Pig meat

It is a more positive picture for US pig meat exports. Volumes in May were the highest since May 2021 and the ninth highest monthly total on record at 261,361t, with the value of $731.1m (€661.6m) the seventh highest monthly value on record.