U.S beef exports could have a record-breaking year and we don’t have to thank only China

U.S. beef exports are set to break a record this year.

The U.S. Meat Export Federation says while demand in China played a significant role, the U.S. beef industry has seen growth worldwide.

“Our record growth in 2022 and 2021 was the result of broad-based growth. It’s not any one market. Granted, we saw extreme growth in China in three years, which is a good $2 billion market, but it’s not just China. We have growth in Korea. Korea has been amazing. We have grown in places like the Philippines, Vietnam, and Colombia. So, broad-based growth, not overly reliant on any one market, has been key. And that’s with the food service in Asia for most of 2022 crippled due to COVID. So, that would be a good example of where I think there’s a tailwind coming into 2023 where, with food service in Asia, we might see some pretty spectacular things,” said Dan Halstrom.

Pork exports are expected to fall short of records seen in the last couple of years, but Dan Halstrom says pork exports performed well late this year and are poised for growth heading into 2023.

“If you all remember 2020 at the height of African Swine Fever in China, we set all kinds of records, but it was mainly China. And we’ve now seen extremely good diversification on the pork side as well. And while Mexico had a big year in 2022 and is a very good partner, we’ve seen very good growth in Korea. We’ve seen very good growth in places like Colombia, Peru, Central America, and the Philippines. So once again, having a diversified portfolio with a lot of different options market-wise has been a key.”

Halstrom says as China begins to loosen Covid-19 restrictions, it could open the door for export growth in the U.S.