Meat & Livestock News

US Pork Exports Break Record

TL;DR: US pork exports hit a three-year high in April, driven by record sales in Mexico and growth in other regions. Beef and lamb exports also saw significant increases, showcasing strong global demand for US meat products.

Record-Breaking Pork Exports

DENVER — This spring was successful for US red meat exports. April saw the highest pork shipments in volume and value since almost three years ago, as per data from the US Department of Agriculture and the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Beef exports also did well, reaching the largest volume in ten months.

Pork Exports Soar

Driven by record sales in Mexico and growth in many other areas, pork exports reached 277,910 tonnes in April. This is a 14% increase from the previous year, marking the fifth-largest record. The value of these exports jumped 18% to $778.8 million. This translates to $72.46 per head of slaughtered pork, a 7% rise from last year.

Dan Halstrom, USMEF president and CEO, said, “Mexico led the way in a great month for pork exports. However, other regions like South Korea, Central America, Colombia, Australia, and ASEAN also showed strong demand. Japan’s growth was promising too. It was great to see export value per head over $70 for the second month.”

Beef Exports Gain

Western and Middle Eastern markets boosted beef exports. In April, beef shipments totaled 111,580 tonnes, the highest since June 2023. The value increased by 5% to $898.7 million, also the highest since June.


Key Achievements in April:

  • Mexico: Highest beef export value in over three years. Severe drought and rising corn imports have caused Mexico to export more feeder cattle to the US and import more US beef.
  • Other Markets: Year-over-year exports increased to several Western Hemisphere markets, Japan, and the Middle East. US beef accounted for 69% of Korea’s chilled imports and 72% for Taiwan.

Halstrom noted, “Mexico and other regions like the Caribbean, Central America, and the Middle East showed strong performance. These markets benefit from food service demand and currency advantages over main Asian markets. Despite challenges in Asia, Japan’s tourism boom has helped stabilize demand. US chilled beef continues to dominate in Korea and Taiwan, thanks to robust retail and e-commerce demand.”

Lamb Exports Rise

April lamb exports rose 33% from last year to 224 tonnes but were the lowest since December 2023. The value increased by 21% to $1.25 million. Growth was driven mainly by the Caribbean and Mexico, with increased shipments to Canada, the Philippines, and Taiwan.


In summary, April was a remarkable month for US meat exports, with pork and beef exports reaching new heights and lamb exports also seeing significant growth. The strong performance across various markets highlights the robust demand for US meat products globally.