US beef exports hold steady despite headwinds in Asia

Jun 10, 2024

Mexico & Middle East drive growth, while China demand softens


US beef exports exhibited resilience in April, maintaining a steady pace despite facing challenges in key Asian markets. The positive performance in Mexico and the Middle East counterbalanced the decline in Asian demand.

Mexico continued to be a major driver of US beef exports, with April sales climbing 46% year-over-year. This growth is attributed to strong foodservice and retail demand in the Mexican market.

The Middle East also emerged as a bright spot for US beef exports, with a 26% increase in April compared to last year. This upsurge was fueled by higher sales to the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Qatar.

US beef exports faced headwinds in Asia, particularly in China and South Korea. Exports to China fell by 12% year-over-year, while sales to South Korea declined by 20%. The weak yen and ongoing trade tensions likely contributed to this decrease.

Despite these challenges, the US remains a dominant supplier of chilled beef to Korea and Taiwan, capturing a significant market share in both countries.

The US beef industry displayed adaptability in April. The strong performance in Mexico and the Middle East helped offset the decline in Asian markets. The industry remains cautiously optimistic about the future, with ongoing efforts to diversify export markets.

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