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U.S. beef exports set annual records for both volume and value in 2022. While pork exports finished lower year-over-year, export value was still the third largest on record. What makes this even more impressive is the strong performance came in the face of many supply chain headwinds in the last year and COVID lockdowns in China.
U.S. beef exports totaled 3.54 billion pounds, up 3% from the previous year, with a value of $11.7 billion dollars, up $1.2 billion or 10% from 2021. That is nearly 40% above the previous five-year average.
Dan Halstrom, President/CEO, U.S. Meat Export Federation says, “Yeah its going to be a record on volume and value, we’re going to be up 3% to 4% on volume and value’s going to come in just under $12 billion in sales which is easily a record over last year’s $10.5 billion. And I think the real theme here is its broad-based growth.” Beef exports achieved annual records in South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, Singapore, Columbia, China, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic.
For 2022, pork exports totaled 6.34 billion pounds, down 8.5% from a year ago, while export value was $7.7 billion, down just 5% from 2021. Halstrom says these are still respectable numbers and the big difference was China was down for the year compared to record purchases in 2021, main due to COVID lockdowns. “It’s off a record in 2021 and probably our third largest export year ever. So still pretty good. Once again the theme is the same as beef, broad-based growth.”
Mexico was the leading pork customer, setting a record for volume in 2022, and up 10% from the previous year. Export value soared 21%, topping the $2 billion market for the first time ever.
USDA forecasts beef exports will decline roughly 13% this year to slightly over 3 billion pounds. Pork shipments are expected to inch up .2% to 6.35 billion pounds. However, USMEF is slightly more optimistic due the relaxing of COVID restrictions in China.