The latest data from USDA show July exports of U.S. beef rebounded from recent lows but remained below 2019 levels. U.S. pork exports, which are on a record pace in 2020, were also down year-over-year in July but increased compared to June, according to a release from U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
Federation economist Erin Borror says, in the audio clip below, that while U.S. slaughter levels have recovered from COVID-19 related interruptions earlier this year, limited labor availability is still holding back exports of certain items – including some beef and pork variety meats. She explains that the outlook for U.S. beef exports is impacted by the pace at which foodservice operations recover in key markets. China/Hong Kong drove U.S. pork export growth in the first seven months of the year, but Borror says more recent USDA weekly data point to strengthening demand from Mexico. She also highlights growth opportunities for U.S. pork in Vietnam and the Philippines.