Red meat exports trend lower for May
US beef and pork exports trended lower in May.
US Meat Export Federation CEO Dan Halstrom says that was expected and was largely in part due to the temporary disruptions to the processing sector. “We started to see the beginning impacts on beef in April and we were down just a couple of percent, but we saw a much bigger impact in May,” he says. “As far as pork goes, the numbers for May were up 12 percent, but the rate of growth is the lowest in six or seven months.”
He tells Brownfield red meat production has rebounded significantly in recent weeks. “Here we are early July and the supply chain and slaughter plant facilities are back to 95-plus percent of capacity,” he says. “I think we’re still very optimistic for the balance of the year on both beef and pork.”
And — he’s expecting beef and pork exports to regain momentum in the second half of 2020. “Demand in generally, globally, has been very resilient,” he says. “Even though food service business is down dramatically in a place like Mexico, currently, the retail business and the online business is booming.”
January through May beef exports fell 3 percent below last year’s pace in volume and 5 percent lower in value. January through May pork exports are 30 percent ahead of last year’s pace and 37 percent higher in volume.
AUDIO: Dan Halstrom, US Meat Export Federation