Recent trade data released by USDA-ERS shows that U.S. beef exports have continued their record pace through the month of August. August exports were up 9% over August 2017 and the January-August total is 14.17% above the same period of 2018. According to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), beef exports topped $750 million in August – another “first-ever.” This was an 11% increase in value over August 2017 according to USMEF.
While Japan remains the number one destination for U.S. beef exports, exports to South Korea are rapidly increasing. Beef and veal exports to South Korea totaled 66.59 million pounds in August which was 45.43% larger than August 2017. The January-August totals show a 47.92% increase in U.S. beef exports to South Korea as compared to the same period of 2017. Together, Japan (31.39). and South Korea (23.17%) accounted for 54.57% of U.S. beef exports during the month of August. Mexico (14.7%), Canada (8%), Hong Kong (5.5%), and Taiwan (6.9%) combined for an additional 35.11%. The remaining 10% (or 29.7 million pounds) was scattered among an additional 88 countries.
Imports in August were very close to August 2017 levels. Canada (26.5%), Austrailia (24.6%), Mexico (16.6%), New Zealand (15.8%), Nicaragua (6%), Brazil (5%), and Uruguay (4.2%) combined for 99% of total imports in August.