Korea and Japan the top buyers of US beef

By Oscar Rousseau

- Last updated on GMT

Chilled beef exports from the US increased by 40%
Chilled beef exports from the US increased by 40%

Related tags Beef exports International trade Us Beef

Asian markets outside of China, notably South Korea and Japan, were the biggest buyers of US beef in July, according to trade data from the US Meat Export Federation. 

Beef exports to Japan – where the US is entrenched in a battle for control of the market with Australia – increased by 12% in volume, when compared to the July 2015. Japan imported 143,358 tonnes (t) of beef from the US, with value rising by 4% to $836.2m during the month. Driving this growth was chilled beef exports which were up 40% to nearly 60,000t.

Beef shipped to South Korea from the US surged spectacularly in the July, rising by 37%, albeit from a lower base than Japan with 16,459t. Nonetheless, the upswing in performance saw exports valued at $94.5m rise by 27% and helped offset the slump in Egypt.     

Volume-based beef exports to Egypt – a key market for US beef offal – slumped in July to 6,753t, a drop of 26% for the month. Value, too, declined sharply as six-month figures show a 31% in the value of beef offal exports, resting at $57.3m.

Japan, South Korea, Mexico and the recently-carved-open South Africa all increased their imports of US beef offal in July, with Colombia and Chile also proving good markets for by-products.

We are pleased to see demand for US beef variety meats increasing in other markets, and helping to offset the slowdown to Egypt,​” said Philip Seng, USMEF​ president and CEO. “It is a top priority for USMEF and our beef industry partners to expand the reach of beef variety meat exports and build demand in alternative destinations, and those efforts are paying off.​”

January to July imports of US offal are now up 6% from last year’s figures with the US exporting a total of 185,722t of beef by-products, worth $4921m.

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