AGRIBUSINESS: Russian Impact Felt in May Beef and Pork Exports

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According to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation - exports of U.S. beef moved 3% higher in volume and 9% higher in value in May. Pork exports dropped 3% in volume and 3.6% in value. USMEF notes the inability of the U.S. to ship beef and pork to Russia is continuing to put a damper on red meat exports this year. USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng says the loss of a key market like Russia ripples through the red meat industry. He says the absence of one of the largest meat purchasers in the world affects the volume of product sold and the price other customers need to pay for it in a competitive marketplace.

Excluding Russia - USMEF reports beef export volume for May increased 12% and volume for the first five months of the year rose 3.5% instead of falling 3%. For pork - May exports would be up 3.5% in volume over last year if Russia is excluded. Pork export volume for January through May would be down 5.8% instead of 9% if Russia isn’t included. USMEF says an oversupply of domestic pork in many major export markets is posing a challenge to U.S. exports.