Beef exports break records

Beef cattle grazing in Kern County CA.
Beef cattle grazing in Kern County CA.(KMVT)
Published: Mar. 12, 2019 at 8:10 AM CDT
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Despite a tough farm economy, beef exports set a record last year.

The USDA export numbers compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) indicated 2018 topped volume and value records that were set in 2017.

USMEF officials said strong demand in the Asia region helped drive 2018 beef exports seven percent higher at 1.35 million metric tons, with value increasing to $8.33 billion about 15 percent higher than 2017.

South Korea specifically drove half of the billion dollar surge in exports.

USMEF CEO Dan Halstrom said Korea has been a success story.

“Less than a decade removed from the street protests opposing the reopening of the market, Koreans now consume more U.S. beef per capita than any international destination.”

Pork exports also nearly beat its record at two point four million metric tons, half a percent lower than 2017 with pork value dipping a percent to $6.39 billion.