October was another strong month for U.S. red meat exports as beef export value continued to soar, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). October pork exports were below last year's large total but year-to-date shipments remained slightly above the record pace of 2020.
"USMEF has always prioritized market diversification, and this is more critical than ever now that the red meat industry faces unprecedented transportation challenges and rising input costs," said President and CEO Dan Halstrom. "Exports will likely reach about $18 billion in 2021, which is a remarkable achievement. While global demand is tremendous and we are cautiously optimistic about further growth in 2022, supply chain pressures are not easy to overcome and are a growing concern for exporters and their international customers."
Beef exports reached 115,709 metric tons (mt) in October, up 7.5% from a year ago, while export value climbed 48% to $956.9 million – the second-highest total on record, behind August 2021. Through the first 10 months of the year, beef exports totaled 1.19 million mt, up 17% from a year ago.