New data released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), shows U.S. beef exports set new volume and value records in May. Exports reached 135,006 metric tons (mt), up 1% from the previous high posted in May 2021. Export value climbed 20% to $1.09 billion, breaking the March 2022 record.

USMEF President and CEO, Dan Halstrom, notes these records came despite a slight year-over-year volume decline in the two largest export markets, South Korea and Japan, highlighting the U.S. beef industry’s success in achieving broad-based export growth.

While May pork exports were well below last year’s large totals, shipments were the largest of 2022 in both volume (224,677 mt) and value ($655.1 million), led by strong performances in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Colombia. Halstrom notes that pork variety meat exports also rebounded to China, reaching the largest volume since July 2021.

The May reports also shows that U.S. lamb exports continued to trend higher in May, led by growth in the Caribbean and Mexico. Lamb exports increased 35% from a year ago to 1,856 mt, while export value climbed 40% to $2.55 million.