The latest estimates for meat trade were released last week by USDA FAS and ERS. These monthly estimates include export and import data for beef, pork, and other meats during April. We’ll focus on pork and beef in this article and the different trends of each sector.
Pork exports were down nearly 20 percent both during April and year-to-date as compared to 2021. Declines in shipments to China are the biggest driver as U.S. pork exports to China are about 70 percent lower, so far in 2022, compared to 2021. Exports totaled 529 million pounds during April. Mexico and Japan were the largest volume destinations for U.S. pork and accounted for more than half of total pork exports.
Beef exports during April were up about 6 percent above April 2021 and totaled 304 million pounds for the month. Japan, South Korea, and China were again the largest volume destinations for U.S. beef during April and were each up about 8 percent compared to last year. Year-to-date, beef exports to China (up 43 percent) and Taiwan (up 44 percent) make up the largest increases compared to 2021. Beef exports to Mexico were about 24 percent lower during the first 4 months of 2022 as compared to 2021.
On the import side, both pork and beef imports were higher than a year ago. Pork imports were up 49 percent in April and beef imports were 7 percent. On the beef side, imports from Mexico (up 19 percent) and Brazil (up 51 percent) showed the largest increases from a year ago. Pork imports from Canada are the primary contributor to the increase and made up more than half of the pork imports during April.