USMEF Weekly Audio: U.S. Pork and Beef Exports on Record Pace through June

U.S. pork and beef exports raced to a record pace in the first half of 2021, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

First-half pork exports topped last year’s record-large volume by 1% at 1.58 million metric tons (mt), while value increased 7% to $4.33 billion. USMEF Economist Erin Borror says broad-based growth in several regions offset a significant decline in China’s demand for pork muscle cuts, with much of this growth achieved in Mexico, Central America and South America. She added that even as China’s domestic production has rebounded and its demand for pork muscle cuts has softened, U.S. pork variety meat exports to China have remained strong.

Beef exports through June reached 700,087 mt, up 18% from the first half of 2020, valued at $4.64 billion (up 28%). When compared to 2018, the record year for U.S. beef exports, first-half results were up 6% in volume and 15% in value. Borror says this is especially noteworthy given the ongoing restrictions on foodservice operations in key markets such as South Korea, Japan and Taiwan, underscoring the importance of U.S. beef’s strong presence in the retail sector. She notes that rapidly growing demand in China has also bolstered U.S. beef exports, as the U.S. industry capitalizes on market access gains achieved through the Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement.

A detailed summary of January-June red meat exports is available from the USMEF website

08-09-21 USMEF Economist Erin Borror

The U.S. Meat Export Federation ( is the trade association responsible for developing international markets for the U.S. red meat industry. It is funded by USDA; the beef, pork, lamb, corn and soybean checkoff programs, as well as its members representing nine industry sectors: beef/veal producing & feeding, pork producing & feeding, lamb producing & feeding, packing & processing, purveying & trading, oilseeds producing, feedgrains producing, farm organizations and supply & service organizations. USMEF complies with all equal opportunity, non-discrimination and affirmative action measures applicable to it by contract, government rule or regulation or as otherwise provided by law. USMEF is an equal opportunity employer and provider. 

Submitted to the BARN by:

Joe Schuele

Vice President, Communications

U.S. Meat Export Federation

303-547-0030 (mobile)

By Tucker Allmer - The BARN

Tucker Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.