Widespread growth bolsters US beef exports in August

August exports up 20% over last year
calendar icon 14 October 2022
clock icon 2 minute read

Despite China’s ongoing travel restrictions and periodic lockdowns in some of its largest metropolitan areas, demand for US beef continues to grow, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF). 

August exports to China/Hong Kong reached a record 30,806 mt, up 20% from a year ago, while value increased 17% to $272.3 million. Through August, exports increased 25% to 193,511 mt, while value was up 38% to $1.77 billion. China/Hong Kong is the second highest value destination for US beef in 2022, trailing only South Korea, and China was the top value destination for U.S. beef muscle cut exports in August. 

Though not reflected in the January-August results, Hong Kong’s foodservice and hospitality sectors recently received a boost as health officials lifted onerous hotel quarantine requirements for incoming travellers.

August beef exports to Korea were slightly above last year’s large volume at 24,546 mt, though export value slipped 2% to $213.1 million. Through August, exports to Korea were 4% above last year’s record pace at 197,749 mt, with value climbing 28% to $1.93 billion. Similar to pork, Korea recently opened a duty-free quota for imported beef. Although the quota temporarily eliminated US beef’s tariff rate advantage over major competitors and helped underpin a sharp increase in imports from Australia and Canada, the move has bolstered overall beef demand amid rising inflation and sharp devaluation of the Korean won.

Following a strong July performance, beef exports to Japan took a step back in August at 25,959 mt, down 18% from a year ago. Export value was $189.3 million, down 19%. This included a sharp decline in beef variety meat exports (mainly tongues and skirts), which fell 46% to 3,964 mt. Through August, Japan remained the leading volume destination for US beef exports at 212,198 mt, down 2% from a year ago, while export value increased 11% to $1.67 billion. Japan is the leading value destination for U.S. beef variety meat exports, and while January-August exports were down 8% in volume (37,545 mt), export value climbed 28% above last year’s record pace at $379.4 million.

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